Time and again we come to know that an information that was circulated earlier was fake and experts have come forward to apologize for the same! It’s quite normal if this error occurred because of a human but if the chaos is created because of technology, it becomes a headline! Well, how is this even possible and even it is will it be as easy to mitigate this as it was to give rise to this?
Definitely not! Damage has already been done and we cannot reverse it at any cost! Moreover, humans and the bots developed by them are the reason why fake news problem has gained so much of hype. But how did all of this even begin?
The History of False News
Yes, the term has become a buzzword now, but this has existed throughout. The creators and distributors of information have always altered it slightly. The reason behind this is that they want the public to remember their point of view and be biased towards them! So, we can assume that this would have existed even when people used to get notified about things through announcements on streets!
Technology has changed this and made the stories available at our service disposal. Moreover, now it is capable of generating new stories and distributing them via different channels. So, this is not something new, it has stayed for long but with active users on different social networking websites, the effects of the same have worsened.
Why Does Fake News Work?
The stories that go viral are the ones that aim for an emotional reaction, entertainment news, or stoke enough curiosity to click. Moreover, many a time, people, though they are nowhere to be concerned with the topic, react negatively to the news! Well, it has nothing to with algorithms but with the way how people perceive things. A few individuals don’t even bother to open a link and see what has been written in it before sharing. So, it all starts because of nominal negligence and eventually leads to chaos!
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Tech is helping false news spread faster, there is no doubt in this, but humans are the ones who are spreading it in the first place.
Can We Stop This Anyway?
Well, as soon as experts were enlightened about the consequences of this and they have tried to stop it. Today there are considerable number of startups that are trying to combat fake news problem. A few platforms are also developed such as:
Check4Spam- Though founded in 2015 initially, this platform has been able to quash fake news and hoaxes. The best part is that, Check4Spam also accepts queries via WhatsApp. So, don’t rely on everything you see!
Storyzy- Yet another platform to know if you are reading an exaggeration or reality. It was formed in 2012 and has deployed Natural Language Processing in order to spot fake news real-time. They claim to have a database of more than 15 million quotes that help them in differentiating truth from a lie.
Crisp Thinking- This came into existence in 2005, it protects the images of brands on social media platforms. With this you can identify fake news as well.
The other platforms such as Userfeeds, AlthNews, Sm Hoax Slayer, Factmata. Etc., also serve you accurately.
Is There Any Way Government Can Fight With This Problem In Future?
Of course, there is! We are witnessing innovations each day! Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence might prove helpful in this! If government opens up opportunities, these technologies can do wonders! Although we are still struggling to understand whether this will be a breakthrough or a curse for human race, we can still take measures to control the learning and make identification of fake news as easy as snapping fingers.
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Another option that will help in handling this issue is establishing regulations. Governments of different countries across the globe are investing a significant amount of time to establish standards that platforms will be bound to uphold. Also, we need to make sure that a balance remains between freedom of speech and the new rules in order avoid any conflict. Then only, practice and implementation of these regulations have a chance!
However, the real challenge for limiting fake news is the human involvement. To combat this, we’d recommend you to be well aware and alert and not just seek simplistic answers to sensitive topics. This will certainly help in limiting disinformation.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments section below!