While some leaders genuinely make themselves busy asking votes door to door whereas some, on the other hand, are busy preparing and spreading fake news about their opponents on various social media. These kinds of trends have become quite common worldwide especially around the time of elections and how could Nepal stay separated from the hoard?
With election time nearing in Nepal, these kinds of malpractices have been starting to be of a major concern too. On Kartik 19, Gagan Thapa candidate of area number 4, Kathmandu and a representative for the Congress shared an information via his Twitter and Facebook accounts. He wrote, “Now you can read news like this …on the internet”.
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With the possibility of his opponents pulling some strings like this against him at times when the election is around the corner, GaganThapa posted such information on the social media so as to make others aware and alert of such unethical acts.
He told, “People who try to frame others by spreading rumors or false news are the culprit but people who believe such nuisances instantly, without judging are also equally to be blamed.”
Thapa is not the only one suffering from this issue. RanjuDarsana one of the competitors for Kathmandu Metropolitan Mayor representing BibekshilSajha Party shared her story during local assembly program organized at area number 5.
“The news was about me leaving the party for another. This is not true, it’s all hoax.”
Defaming him/her by spreading fake news about opponents thereby pulling all the votes to their party instead is not a new act in politics but with the advent of modern social media, this has become even more effective and easier. Since more and more people are increasingly and easily connected via social media now.
Facebook users have been increasing day by day. In Nepal almost 10 million people use Facebook. Facebook, as a matter of fact, is widely used as a medium for advertisement or to share information. In fact, a study shows that 66% of people get news from Facebook.
The major challenge is, no system as such exists to authenticate or verify such information on Facebook or any other social media in that case. Not only in Nepal, this has become a paramount concern for other countries as well.
For instance, it was proved how fake news helped American president Donald Trump win his presidency last year. According to an investigation, Russian operators are suspected to have used Twitter and Facebook to spread hacked material and used them against Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump’s opponent.
Moreover, Russian fingerprints are found behind several fake Twitter and Facebook accounts used to post anti-Clinton messages on the internet. The debate whether Trump is behind all these is still going on. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook further said,
“Personally, I think the idea that fake news – of which it’s a small amount of content – influenced the election is a pretty crazy idea.”
So What is the Solution? How to Avoid?
Well, to begin with, the source of the information should be checked. In other words, do not believe in each and every news posted on Facebook, Twitter or any other sites on the Internet.
Do not share news from unofficial and unknown sources and finally report it to the police administration or associated parties. It’s up to you and your senses ultimately.