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India-Pak Tensions: Do Not Believe Everything You Read or See on WhatsApp And Twitter

By: Md. Waquar Haider

Edited By:


Last Updated: March 02, 2019, 13:39 IST

How to Spot Fake News on WhatsApp

How to Spot Fake News on WhatsApp

Whenever necessary, cross check with reliable sources or wait for an official source to confirm or deny any information that you are seeing on social media or as a WhatsApp forward.

It is no secret that in these tense times, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and social media, in general, is proving to be the primary source of information for a lot of the countrymen. The flip-side of that is with it comes a lot of fake news, unverified information and downright rumour mongering. Not all the news and information that you see on these platforms is correct, verified and reliable. This has been proved again today as India and Pakistan are engaged in dogfights in the sky and posturing in TV studios, with a lot of unverified information and fake news doing rounds on Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media channels. You really cannot help but trip over the immense fake news doing rounds on social media over the past few hours.

And this is not new. It has been happening for a while, and the Government of India is already taking up the issue of the fake-news menace on social-media platforms, with Facebook, Google and Twitter in an attempt to create a process that makes it easier to trace the spread of unverified or fake news.

If you are trying to get as much information about the tensions between India and Pakistan, and the military action happening at various locations around the international border and the line of control, it is only normal to fall for the trap of unverified information, simply because it is the first on the scene on social media and is usually packed in a way that you may not be able to identify it as incorrect. This can lead to worse situations, such as panic. Here are some things to keep in mind, as you log in on social media.

Ignore Bulk Messages. If there’s a message you’ve been receiving from multiple channels and contacts, there’s a good chance it’s a hoax. Bulk messages usually tend to serve a goal which in most scenarios, is to rile up users against or for something. Refer to the aforementioned points in case you have trouble judging their authenticity.

Investigate it through other sources too. To evaluate the truth, do a quick online search and cross check with other reliable news websites in order to find out where did the story come from.

Watch for Forwarded Labels. WhatsApp is clearly aware of the spread of fake news, and now labels forwarded messages. Therefore, we would recommend taking messages which are forwarded with a grain of salt because more often than not, they are being circulated without a second thought.

Last but not the least, always wait for an official source to confirm or deny any information that you are seeing on social media or as a WhatsApp forward. This is even more relevant in these tense times, for the government of India or the Indian armed forces to confirm whatever may be packaged as news and spread for consumption on various platforms.

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