The Fake News Trend: A scary scenario?

Media houses and journalists can tend to get a bit out of hand and print stories that are as fictional as Harry Potter. Scenarios can get ugly when misinformation spreads and tends to take a wrong turn. Such misinformation may rage a mob, or damage a firm’s reputation in the market.

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The Fake News Trend: A scary scenario
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In the recent times, there has been a rise in the number of cases of fake news circulation that has hampered the credibility of media – social and industrial.

Under Indian Constitution, the freedom of expression, a fundamental right, bestows the privilege to journalists to churn stories out of thin air.  However, individuals and companies do have the right to lodge a complaint with the News Broadcasters Association also called the NBA. It is a self-regulating body which checks on complaints on news broadcasters.

Another body which not known to many is the Indian Broadcast Foundation (IBF) which was formed in 1999.  This body deals with grievances pertaining to the electronic media in general.

If the news is linked to hatred, violence against women or children or promotes substances they are usually dealt with by the Broadcasting Content Complaint Council (BCCC).

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The Press Council Act of 1978 warns and censures the newspaper, news agency or journalist if fundamental ethics of journalism gets defied.

An FIR can be lodged and sections of IPC Sections and 295 can be used to protect against fake news. The two sections classify the detailing as ‘hate speech.’

The art of fake news has been made more superior by using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These social media platforms have several advantages but can influence the decisions of the masses with the right content and data analytics involved. This art of ‘brainwashing’ was seen to be made possible with the recent ‘Cambridge Analytica’ scandal.

With the run-up of elections nearing, spreading misinformation will not only cause panic amongst voters but can turn deadly and into innocent lives being lost if not checked and made soberer.

Therefore, the government and the public will have to take extra caution with a new rising digital epidemic called ‘fake news’.