Introduction :

In the era of developments, technological developments has it's pros and cons. On one hand technology helps us to connect but on the other hand it also increases certain risks. If news helps us to get updated fake news misleads us like anything. 'News' is all about getting certain knowledge about something where the term 'Fake' stands for something which is not genuine. These two combinations 'Fake News' can turn out to be very dangerous.

Misinformation & Disinformation :

An information which is falsely made is known as 'False information'. This false information can be of two types –

(1) Misinformation &

 (2) Disinformation.

A false information unintentionally spread is known as misinformation where internationally spread amounts to disinformation. It is the 'Disinformation' that needs to be controlled. Disinformation popularly known as 'Fake news' basically is a means to manipulate the truth.

Fake News & Covid19 :

In the current scenario of Covid19 pandemic media specifically social media is the only medium to connect people. During those initial days of lockdown few pics of dead bodies got virul claiming those to be corona dead bodies which were absolute fake news affecting already tensed minds.  This concept of fake news is nothing but a disease of media which needs to be cured. Just like a virus fake news spreading all over social networking sites Like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on various media portals with the aim to manipulate the reality. During the lockdown media specifically social media being the only source of information the quantity of fake news has increased. 7 March 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an appeal to not believe any rumours related to the pandemic[1]. Some reports also suggests that people have been arrested for spreading fake news about the coronavirus pandemic.[2] [3] With the growth of internet in every household this problem of fake news is also growing which needs to be taken care of immediately. As per the latest news over 400 Indian Scientists are working together to debunk false information regarding the virus[4]


Initiatives taken so far : According to Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen "The problems of disinformation in a society like India might be more sophisticated and more challenging than they are in the west"[5] With the growth of internet usage from 137 million users in 2012 to over 600 million  in 2019 has only increased fake news over social media and lack of awareness among the public at large did not help either.[6] However certain initiatives has been taken by the government as well as by Social networking sites authorities to control the spreading of fake news such as - Whatsapp which is one of the most used applications has now limited the number of people a message could be forwarded to and it also has introduced a tip-line among other measures like suspensions of accounts and sending cease and desist letters.[7] Twitter is also taking actions in the form of deleting accounts alleged to spread fake news. Apart from  that intenet shutdown has been used as a weapon by the government to stop the spreading of social media rumours however internet shutdown can never be a permanent solution as now days internet is more like a necessity than luxury. In 2018,Google news launched a program for training 8000 journalists in seven official Indian languages (including English) to spread awareness of fake news and fact checking practice.[8] This program was so far the largest training initiative of Google in the whole world. The concept of fact checking has become a business in India with the creation of fact checking websites like - Boom,  Alt News, Factly & SMHoaxSlayer.[9] The Press Information Bureau (PIB) which comes under the ministry of Information and Broadcasting  had  set up a fact-checking  near the end of 2019 to focus on verifying news related to the government.[10]  Now media houses have their own fact checking departments such as - India Today group & Times India having TOI factcheck.[11] Jancy Jacob, managing director at mumbai based fact checking website BOOM has said that - "2019 has been a unique year where fact checkers continuously kept moving from one event to the other,and this has been the busiest year for us so far."[12]

Conclusion : Over the years specifically between 2016-2020 fake news has been a subject of various reserch and many initiatives has been taken by local authorities, government, social media self regulation departments to have a control over it. The process is still on going. From taking legal action to use to technology to identify fake news the journey to fight against fake news continuous. Students of legal courses also are also being asked to submit their research papers or theories regarding "How to fight with fake news" to get more ideas. Regarding this ongoing process we can't conclude anything however we can hope to get some permanent solution to stop fake news as till now all the initiatives are only mere means to have a control over the problem. The permanent solution is yet so far. 

[1] Purohit, Kunal (10 March 2020). "Misinformation, fake news spark India coronavirus fears". Al Jazeera..

[4] Dore, Bhavya (14 April 2020). "How 300 Indian scientists are fighting fake news about COVID-19"World Economic Forum..

[6] Mohan, Shriya (26 April 2019). "Everybody needs a good lie"Business Line.

[8] Christopher, Nilesh (19 June 2018). "Google wants to train 8000 journalists with new tools to fight fake news"The Economic Times

[9] Ananth, Venkat (7 May 2019). "Can fact-checking emerge as big and viable business?"The Economic Times.

[11] "Fact Check"India Today.


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