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Expert opinion: How to deal with fake information on Social media during nationwide lockdown due to Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is hitting hard all over the world. During any crisis technology plays an important to circulate information. Due to COVID-19 massive spread, most of countries are under lockdown and people are spending maximum time on Social Media and other communication applications.

Since there is no control over the information that flows over the social media and from where it originated from, it becomes hard for the person to check if the information received by him or her is correct or not.

There is no full-proof method to check this but Tech experts have some solution that can help you identify the difference between fake and genuine information.

We have asked one question to some industry experts and here’s what all have to say.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has not only led to an unprecedented crisis the world over but has also spread a lot of misleading information amongst the people. This has further resulted in numerous threats to the economies throughout the world. We strongly support the stringent efforts being initiated by the Central and State Governments towards controlling this pandemic and condemn the spread of misleading information being presented to us. Most of the leading online platforms are taking several measures to ensure that people should get the right information with all facts. We all should also follow the guidelines being issued by The World Health Organization (WHO) and should remain vigilant while sharing any such news that can elicit a strong reaction.

In a precarious situation like this, one must make it a task to always check the source of this information provider and its authenticity before spreading or passing it on further.  We, as responsible and concerned citizens, should refrain ourselves from reporting any false or misleading information across social media. The war against Coronavirus is quite long and misinformation is something that will add fuel to the existing fire. We therefore, need to be vigilant to fight the negligence and thus win this war against the dreaded epidemic.

Mr. Mandeep Arora, Managing Director, Ubon

Whenever some epidemic crisis or act of God happens, it spreads like a wildfire and leads to rumors in a shorter period than the actual information reaching the public. We should try to gather proper and correct information about the epidemic rather than the facts about the situation before passing it on further because the wrong information will not only make it worse but will certainly create havoc amongst people rather than easing it out.

While talking about the present context of Coronavirus, the Government with the help of researchers has come up with various platforms where one can look out for the accurate facts and figures on COVID-19. Moreover, many platforms have also been developed where all updated and relevant information related to Coronavirus positive cases, deaths and those recovered is duly reported and is available.

Hence, people need to be aware of the facts and the corresponding reports with correct information while meticulously checking on the source of information provider before passing it on further. We should not believe any news available around us until it is backed by the verified facts and contents. Be aware. Stay safe. Stay home.

Misinformation spreads a lot of panic and people may also make false decisions due to this misinformation. The widespread use of social media has only aggravated the spread of misinformation. The 1st thing is to stop believing and forwarding everything about Coronavirus that you receive on social media. This only spreads the baseless rumors and instills even more panic and fear. Dealing with this is simple. You have the power of choice – whether to receive or read, whether to respond and whether to believe. Ensure you are sure of the information received. Sources can be mistaken – misinformation can look very authentic. Keep calm and cool. And never, ever, panic.

Social media is just a medium – and Over-communication is the result! Check, verify, recheck, reconfirm. Trust only verified sources for information. The best sources of information are trusted government sources or mainstream media – if not fully convinced, confirm from various sources. Do not seek narratives but bare facts only. This will help establish the truth. There are fact-verifying sources on various platforms of leading publications – they can be fully trusted to verify facts.

Mr. Shrijay Sheth, Founder, LegalWiz.in)

Coronavirus needs to be controlled and fake information that has been circulated should not be promoted by our social communication channels. We can completely relate with expert’s opinion and hope this pandemic ends soon.

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