Tech and Society 3: Fake news

Tech and Society 3: Fake news
Recently a BBC commissioned Research published a report that alleged that the largest contributor to fake news emanating from India was churned out from the IT cell that owed allegiance to the party running the Govt. Quite predictably, seemingly credible news report surfaced that countered the BBC Research claim highlighting the shortcomings of the published report including technical points such as sample size and sampling bias. We have seen a similar situation a month or two back with the outbreak of disclosure about the Rafeal deal.

With the advent of Internet, it has become easy to publish reports and their rebuttal with such conviction that it becomes a mind-boggling affair for the average reader to fish out the real truth in the stories.Political parties with an axe to grind are mostly instrumental in carrying out such misdeeds. A recent report about a newly constructed bridge in the National Capital actually carried a picture of a bridge from Singapore. Increasingly, the net is emerging as a platform for political slugfest with a mix of genuine and fake news with the factory involved in producing the latter category getting increasingly better at their jobs. In that sense, Fake news have a huge potential to sway public opinions and if they continue to prosper in this unregulated manner, one wonders whether the fate of a genuine article is similarly destined like the shepherd boy prone to playing pranks on the unsuspecting villagers till one day when they got tired …

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