Information and media is the new buzz. Proliferation of information and media networks has led to an emerging field related to security where manipulation of political messages, memes and videos has soared as political parties hire hundreds of cyber warriors to run their social media cells and motivate tens of thousands of volunteers to target the over 300 million who use Facebook and about 240 million on WhatsApp.Fake news and hyper nationalist videos and texts proliferated to unprecedented levels in the aftermath of recent tensions between India and Pakistan following a suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir, say fact checkers.
Of greatest worry are those that have the potential to trigger communal tensions. A recent video falsely showed a mock drill at a temple in Gujarat as an incident involving two terrorists.“We are working hard to fight the spread of false news on the platform through a combination of technology and human review,” Facebook said in a recent press release. It has partnered with seven media groups and fact checking organizations to counter false news and ramped up efforts to block fake accounts.
Indeed even as fact checkers work overtime, cyber experts say they lack the capacity and speed to check the fake news that proliferates on social media.
WhatsApp efforts to limit the spread of misinformation by restricting forwards in India has been easily circumvented by political parties who use their army of volunteers to create tens of thousands of groups on the messaging platform that is hugely popular among Indians. Instagram is the latest social media platform being used to target young, first-time voters who number 90 million.
[Source VOA News]
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Regina Mihindukulasuriya, S R Research, Rahul Bhonsle and 15 others