Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Let's Tackle Fake News, One News At A Time

After doing the previous post on Masjid Raya Daan Mogot, I remembered a Whatsapp chat with a journo friend several months ago about the rise of fake news. We realized that there had been a lot of fake news circulating in social media. 

Having worked for media for almost 10 years have made me questioning almost everything I read. I've become aware that media A was more into the X Party, while media was a staunch supporter of the Y Party. It's hard to find a neutral media channel. But the key to distinguish a fake news is critical thinking, which can be established through lots of practicing.

Here is a helpful infographic from IFLA on how to spot fake news:


IMHO, fake news happen for two reasons, either (a) attracting public attention, or (b) diverting public attention from a more serious issue. Either way, fake news aims to get clicks from the readers. More clicks means more money. 

Why do people even bother to read such news? I suppose those people have too much information from various sources, inability to prioritize and sort the news they need, and fear of missing out. And with the rising social media, it is very easy to spread such news just with the tip of your thumb.

There is a three-step guide on why you should spread news: (a) it's a good news, (b) it's the truth (and to check the truth, go through the steps in the infographic above, please), and (c) it's for the greater good or the information in useful for public. If a news does not pass one of these three requirements, then it's not worth to spread.

Be responsible netizens, people. Stop hate, start love.

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