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.
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.
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.
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.