India is facing a large number of problem currently. Illiteracy, unemployment, lack of health and sanitation facilities, terrorism are few issues that are obfuscating our focus and impeding the smooth functioning of our country. But one of the problems, that we fail to acknowledge and assess is the problem of fake news and messages. The problem of fake news is prevalent across the world and is certainly wrecking a havoc. Not only is it influencing the people, but it is also promoting them to take measures that may be catastrophic for the larger part of the society.
Virtue and righteousness has been subverted by these fallacies and they are striding forward rapidly, strolling over facts, figures, logic and rationale.
People today are being brainwashed by these lame and frivolous messages, photos and videos. They all have a common characteristic. In the veil of caution or warning, they are meant to promote divisiveness, violence and hatred. Moreover they are patronised and spread by a particular section or strata of the society aiming to defame a particular section or strata of the society on the grounds of something which is irrelevant, nonsensical and balderdash. All of them – messages, photos, videos – claim to be real and certified by some reputed organisation.This creates conundrum and confusion. This also harms the credibility of those institutions of high repute. Talking about credibility, these messages lead us to a very serious question about the social media platforms, which are being used to promote and promulgate these false messages. Don’t they owe us, their so called “invaluable clients”, some credibility and accountability ?
Are they credible enough to be besieged for a fair and impartial use, devoid of such treacherous messages ? Moreover shouldn’t they be accountable for all this ? Shouldn’t they take efficacious endeavours regarding theses fake messages? Clearly, these fake claims may seem to be a benefaction for a particular group, but is an anathema for the society as a whole.
In today’s tumultuous times, any organisation is too high to be held accountable. Talking about organisations, there is an important role of government of the day in controlling these messages. But what hinders this effort is the clause of impartiality and fairness. Selective preference of one over the others is something that we doubt the government of the day is guilty of practising .But the major culprits of this crime is us. Yes! Us . We forward a message, photo or video just as it is. We do NOT care to check its authenticity, the nature of its contents and the feeling or message that it wishes to deliver. Simply forwarding the messages to show that you are aware socially and politically is a malapropos idea. This is because our data today is being analysed by lots of people. A great magnitude of data is generated each and every day. It is used by some to influence a large group. The expansion of ISIS, Islamophobia and terrorism is the result of this only. Majority of the recruitment of ISIS by brainwashing teenagers by using inappropriate and manufactured content. This has also resulted in few of the unprecedented political decisions in the world. Be it BREXIT, US Presidential elections 2016 or the Indian General Elections 2019 – these fake messages have played their part well.
Though some of us have understood the gravity of the situation, what we have failed to understand is that tracking down of these messages is of cardinal significance. We must NOT consider it as a measure of surveillance or breach of our privacy. All of us consider ourselves to be politically active .When government talks about tracking the origin of messages which had caused mob violence or riots or something that had compromised the law and order of the society, we follow a redundant but simple process. We blame the government, call them irresponsible,incompetent and repudiate the proposal of tracking down of the message on the grounds of Breach of Privacy. I do acknowledge that Right To Privacy is a Fundamental right, ruled by the Supreme Court and guaranteed by the constitution. But what we ,as youth ,fail to understand is that it isn’t an absolute right or jus cogens. It comes with ‘certain reasonable restrictions’ and this includes maintaining public order.
So before straight away turning down the proposal to incorporate Digital fingerprint with each message generated , we should think upon the prevalent situation and FACTS, not what’s app messages . We should think logically and independently before saying a YES or NO to a proposal since this thing comes with an invisibility cloak. It hides the one who created it and also hides itself from being classified as Cyber Crime. So look, think and act wisely sans social media to take the best possible decision about fake messages and digital fingerprints