‘Fake News On Facebook’ was recently trending on Facebook, and there were some questions that came up because of this controversy, which I chose to answer. Here are the questions and their answers:
- Are fake news illegal?
My answer: Not necessarily, but there are conditions to it. Fake news are made up every now and then, based on vested interests of a few entities. They sway public opinion to their benefit, to reach some desired goal (whether it is to get something done, increase sales, decrease sales of a competitor, etc). If the fake news have caused in defamation or loss of some kind (whether monetary or personal), then the entity that caused the creation and spreading of fake news could be held responsible
2. What are the major/popular fake news that have spread around on social networking apps and websites in the name of UNESCO?
You would be surprised how many articles you come across these days on social networking websites are false. I chose to answer this question by debunking 2 facts(?) that were widely believed to be true:
Two big news pieces that recently became widely popular across India were
- Honourable PM Narendra Modi being declared as the best PM;
- India’s national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ being declared as the world’s best national anthem
Both of these news pieces were debunked by UNESCO, but not before some media outlets and news agencies falling for them temporarily and causing the fake news to spread furthermore. Billiards and snooker star Pankaj Advani, amongst many other people who fell for the news started conveying their congratulations through various online and offline mediums. Whilst honourable PM Narendra Modi continues doing good for his beloved motherland, and India’s national anthem continues to unite people across communities and regions in the country, they weren’t actually honoured to be the best ones amongst a group of PMs or national anthems, even though if that would have been the case (official recognition), it would have caused every Indian’s heart to be filled with pride and joy!
Yes, bits of information like the ones mentioned above are shared widely on social platforms, making gullible people fall for them. I don’t know if there’s a way to stop them, but always ensure that what you read is true and factual!