Fekna bandh karo! Fake mat!


Fekna bandh karo! Fake mat!

Sidharth Bedi Varma | June 16, 2018 17:22 hrs

Someone in 2018 said that the words to live by are: ‘If it’s not on social media, did it even happen?’ But did someone ever wait to think, ‘What if it is on social media, and it never actually happened?

Being only four years young in the media space, I have come to realize that everything posted on social media is taken on face value by our lot – people value the face of the source of news and the content, just at the surface level.

People have moved from questions to accusations and despite having so much space on the internet for expression, seldom does fake news find its victim and hear their justification.

Yes, fake news has victims. Most recently, Abhijit Nath and Nilotpal Das and no, they are not the only ones. We have all become victims of fake news at some point on the internet. Some of us laughed it off, some forwarded it on WhatsApp and some believed it, with conviction.

But your fate was not as terrible as Abhijit and Nilotpal. Between you and I, there are thousands of Abhi-Nil waiting to happen; waiting for a trigger, waiting for a frenzied mob.

And we are all guilty; guilty of not being better informed, guilty of not taking out 30 seconds to rectify someone’s incorrect information, despite knowing better. 

At any point, did you look back on that one UNESCO post you shared that made Jana Gana Mana the Best National Anthem of the world or the one that made Modi the Best Prime Minster in the world? No. 
So you, I and everyone else who has been a part of spreading misinformation ‘just because someone said so’ are guilty of taking Abhi and Nil’s lives.

And if there is a takeaway from what happened at Karbi Anglong is not that we need to rename a waterfall or erect a statue – it is to stop, look and verify every share, forward or comment that we make because that is where the crime begins.

Issued in public interest

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