Even as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the world into lockdown, it is the plague of fake news which seems to be spreading than the virus itself, especially in India.
At present, coronavirus has affected more than 1.5 million around the world and claimed over 80,000 lives. One would think that spreading false news would be the last thing on people's minds. Apparently not.
More often than not, fake news is targeted at one specific community or religion. With an increasing number of infected patients in India linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in Delhi's Nizamuddin, Islamophobia has also been on the rise and much of it has been fueled by fake news.
With news and updates about coronavirus from television, newspapers, social media and other sources, it can be quite difficult to sift through all the information that's at your fingertips and decipher what's real and what's fake.
Here's a quick guide on how to spot fake news:
In fact, while WhatsApp may prove to be an immensely useful method of communication, it has quite the record as far as fake news is concerned. The reason? All it takes is one click to forward a message. Anyone with access to the internet and a smartphone can start a trend on the Facebook-owned platform and if the topic is sensational enough, it doesn't take long for something to go viral on WhatsApp.
A few days ago, a viral message about WHO's advisory on implementing a phased lockdown had taken social media by storm. Although the message was fake, it had generated significant panic.
Consequently, it is crucial to actually pause and verify before you believe the news that comes your way. The aforementioned guide can help you break the information down and judge if it is fake or real.