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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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