What’s the matter with China?

September 25, 2020 15:30 pm

How true is the recurring story of Chinese occupation of Nepali land? What is the purpose of this story?

Let me begin with the most recent incident. On July 17,a video showing a youth (said to be a Nepali) being tonsured and forced to shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and‘death to Nepal PM’ appeared in social media.  The Indian men, in the video, wrote ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on shaved head of the youth.

Psychologists Gordon Pennycook and David Rand claim “only unexpected information can filter through to higher stages of processing” because human responses gradually reduce ability to examine reliability of same information and the brain finally learns they are true.  The common citizens do not have the ability to distinguish such misinformation that largely determines its speed, reach, and impact to convince target audience.

Do you recall seeing headlines like these? Nepali scientist invents Corona vaccine. Barsha Raut supports India on border dispute issues. Donald Trump says to India to give Nepali territory back.

Beware of fake news

April 22, 2020 14:00 pm

When I was a college student in the early 1990s, the daily bus ride was fun and oftentimes a curious event. Among the regular beggars, singers and pickpockets encountered in the buses and bus terminals were the hawkers for newspapers, cheap magazines, and booklets. They would mix the names and surnames of the people in petty news and try to create the name of a leader or a celebrity. Then they would shout about the fabricated event. If they shouted 'Bhattarai is dead’, people would buy their stuff and would end up realizing that someone called Bhattarai had died in a hospital or a road accident. They mixed common events such as death, marriage, divorce, and illness with the names of the bigwig to create a sensation. But the prospective reader first thought about some big personality and bought the item. By the time they realized, the hawker would have exited the bus and the bus itself would be 3-4 stations down the route. An example of classic, non-digital, pre-internet, pre-social media fake news.

KATHMANDU, March 31: At a time when the market is rife with fake news and rumors about COVID-19, the government on Monday said that those creating and circulating misinformation will face legal action as per the existing law.

KATHMANDU, March 21: Police on Saturday apprehended a youth from Sipadol of Bhaktapur on the charge of spreading fake news on COVID-19 through social media.

Combating misinformation

March 18, 2020 10:16 am

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11 after over 118,000 cases of coronavirus were detected in over 110 countries. Though there has not been an outbreak of coronavirus in Nepal, Nepal will face challenges in containing the outbreak, if it occurs. Densely populated cities, inadequate health infrastructure and very few public health initiatives from concerned stakeholders are some of the challenges. Since Nepal does not have adequate health technology to combat the virus, it can create a huge panic if it enters Nepal.

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 1:  Facebook Inc (FB.O) said it will take down misinformation about China’s fast-spreading coronavirus, in a rare departure from its usual approach to dubious health content that is presenting a fresh challenge for social media companies.

SINGAPORE, Nov 30 : Facebook (FB.O) said on Saturday it had issued a correction notice on a user’s post at the request of the Singapore government, but called for a measured approach to the implementation of a new “fake news” law in the city-state.

Amid a backdrop of rising populism and economic and social instability, the 2019 edition of the Reuters Institute Digital News Report was published this week.

Value of fake news

May 2, 2019 00:30 am

Governments and civil societies need to be vigilant in supporting a free press

MUMBAI, April 2: WhatsApp said on Tuesday it has launched a tip line for Indians to submit rumours and uncertain information, in the latest step by the messaging service to combat false news in India during the national election.

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, April 2: Two weeks after a suicide bombing in Kashmir in February killed 40 Indian policemen, a Facebook user called Avi Dandiya posted a live video in which he played a recording of a call purportedly involving India’s home minister, the president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and an unidentified woman.

NEW DELHI, March 8: A deluge of online hoaxes that hit Indian social media as the country fought aerial battles with neighbouring Pakistan has heightened fears over the "fake news" war looming in India's national election.

BANGKOK, Feb 11: Thailand's junta chief on Monday dismissed rumours of an impending coup as "fake news", as speculation ricocheted across a kingdom unsettled by the ill-fated political union between a princess and a party allied to the powerful Shinawatra clan.

Culture of learning

December 24, 2018 01:30 am

The illusion of being informed is so strong that even the educated have lost the ability to differentiate between misinformation, disinformation and ‘genuine’ fake news

Is fake news here to stay?

December 9, 2018 00:30 am

The battle with fake news is likely to remain a cat-and-mouse game between its purveyors and the companies whose platforms they exploit

'Fake news a big challenge for media'

December 3, 2018 07:45 am

KATHMANDU, Dec3: Media entrepreneurs as well as media persons have said that fake news has been a major challenge seen in the media sector in recent years.

KATHMANDU, Oct 30: Police have arrested the editor of a news portal, Pathivaraonline.com for disseminating false news about Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's health condition.