Fake news websites and other sources sensationalistically misleading India
There has been recently a huge number of reports of fake news spreading in India via fake news websites and other sources like social media. This fake news website appears as a legitimate news website misleading thousands of people. This fake news is being used as a weapon to misguide people for political gains and spread chaotic situation in the society.
What is Fake News?
Spreading propaganda consisting misinformation or hoaxes via mainstream media and social media is fake news. Fake news is mainly distributed with the help of social media but to make it look like a legitimate piece of information once in while it is shared via mainstream media and news websites. These news websites appear as they provide valid and true information which misleads most of the people.
Fake news in India
The trend of fake news in India accelerated in 2014 during the parliamentary elections. The fake new of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks praising Narendra Modi is one of its examples. During the parliamentary elections of 2014, for the first time, digital media was used for political gains in India and also it was used to spread lies for political purposes. It was the first time in India when digital media was used to woo the voters and to spread false information.
During the campaign, Modi’s campaign managers utilized the power of digital media to its full extent to divert the attention of the voters. Portraying the Modi as the savior of the nation, mocking other political leaders and parties, spreading doctored images of Modi are some the examples. This misleading information directly or indirectly helped BJP in winning the 2014 elections.
Effects of fake news
Fake news is shared with a moto to mislead people with falsified information for political and monetary gain, apart from that fake news is spread to cause chaos in the society. The danger of fake news is very real in India there has also been few incidents where people have lost their lives because of the fake news.
These fake news agencies are also spreading misleading information about the history to spread chaos. Recently there has been a news on social media and some of the news websites about Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It was an effort to spoil the personality of Nehru for political gains.
It spread the rumors that Nehru was Muslim, Saying that Jawahar is an Arabic word and his grandfather was Ghiyasuddin Ghazi who later changed his name to Gangadhar Nehru. Jawaharlal Nehru impregnated a Catholic nun and a Church sent the nun out of India to save his name. To spread hatred for him among people his photoshopped images were used. Even the information about him and his father was altered in Wikipedia to back this fake news. It was later found that government IP address was used to alter this information. Even fake letters of Nehru were created in which it was written that Nehru called Netaji a war criminal.
The moto behind this was to shatter the personality of Pandit Nehru and to spread hatred for him among people. Today spreading the fake news is very easy with the help of social media. Messages on social media should not be considered as a source of information. Even the information on Wikipedia can be altered by anyone so it should not be considered as a legitimate source of information.
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