Indian media, fake news and the core issue

On May 1st, Pak killed and mutilated 2 Indian soldiers along the LoC and while the country is still waiting for the government to act, several media outlets started reporting a news of Indian army destroying Pak bunkers and killing 7 pak soldiers. Even BJP spokesperson repeated the same story.
The news went viral on social media / Facebook / Twitter/ WhatsApp, only to realize that it was a fake one (after Army issued a notice)*.

Think about it – what drives fake news?

Aaj Tak which started this (not Quint, this time) got all the pageview / traffic. Other media houses couldn’t resist as they realized that if they don’t act fast, they will lose the traffic to a competitor. They covered it too – added more masala (e.g. our ‘sources in Army’).
The general public which is a puppet in the hands of Facebook and WhatsApp and is going through lack of ‘self esteem’ immediately got something to boast about.
Chest thumping started.
Immediately, there was a reason to feel happy !
Feel ‘alive’.
Bitch against Pak.
Troll. Make a hashtag trend.
Do more chest thumping. Broadcast to your friends on WhatsApp/ Facebook.
Feel important as you ‘were’ the one to share this first within your friends circle.

The core issue behind Fake news and media.

As somebody said, We get the media we deserve. But let me just modify it : We get the social media we deserve (because we are one).
Media houses and platforms like FB/WhatsApp thrive on user’s need for ‘something interesting’. The need to do ‘chest thumping’ drives fake news, drives everything wrong with media. But don’t blame it just on media – it’s the consumers who fuel the (fake) fire.
Building tech won’t solve the Fake news problem for a generation which has nothing much to be proud of.
Before you troll me, just (honestly) answer :
What’s your first reaction to a product which says ‘made in India’?


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