Humans are interconnected with each other and cannot live alone, as the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle quoted, “Man is by nature a social animal”, whether it is physical socialization or online networking. Technology and the launch of apps such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have made life easier for humans by giving them access to instant information and networks, but have also given rise to fake news in recent years.
In a recent survey on ‘Social Media and Fake News’ by Ipsos India, it was found that citizens are concerned about the risks posed by the increased use of social media platforms.
According to the results, 52% of citizens believe that fake news and disinformation are the main emerging concerns on social media platforms, 46% believe that cybercrime and fraud and 34% believe that theft are other major concerns. .
The social media frenzy also had health risks and psychological ramifications like depression 31%, social anxiety 28% and cyberbullying 22%, according to the survey.
80% of citizens are hopeful and believe that through collective effort they can stop misinformation and fake news, and 74% believe it is the responsibility of media and journalists.
Government 72% and police/law enforcement 71% can also help stop the spread of misinformation. Messaging app companies 69%, Telecom companies/service providers like Jio, AirTel, VodafoneIdea 68% and NGOs/activists 60% also play a very important role in controlling fake news in the country.
Parijat Chakraborty, Group Service Line Manager, Public Affairs and Corporate Reputation, commenting on the investigation, said: “Fake news and misinformation have dangerous fallout; they can sow confusion, tear reputations and lead astray, leading to unnecessary prejudice. And considering the nature and penetration of social media, it can go viral and can lead to unrest among the populace, this is definitely the biggest drawback of using and consuming social media. cybersecurity wing has been working overtime to bring justice to victims of cybercrime, with criminals constantly adopting new ways to trick online. Identity threats are real and have been used to extort money using fake profiles of prominent individuals. Likewise, cyberbullying is real. Social media is becoming more and more heavily polarized, instead of being a relaxing and fun place for social interaction.
“While citizens can act responsibly by double-checking what they read without blindly believing, all credible sources mentioned, such as the media, government, police, courier companies can issue a warning when they read malicious content online that is fake. That in itself can stem the issue of spillover,” Chakraborty added.
Survey results are based on 2935 citizens across metros, Tier 1,2 and 3 cities from SEC A, B and C households via face-to-face interviews using tablets (assisted personal interview by computer – CAPI) and online interviews with different target groups of people.