• Ankuran Dutta

#CheckTheFake-11: Your ‘One-step forward’ is my ‘One-fake forward’: #Infodemic


April 11, 2020

What ‘one-step forward’ is to #COVID19 pandemic, ‘one-fake forward’ is to infodemic.

This should be kept in our minds while fighting against the both. The spread of rumors and misinformation is continuously increasing the curve of infodemic that has become a matter of serious concern all over the world.

Assam is no way behind in helping to increase this infodemic curve, though Assam police with its activeness and innovative tactics are awaring the people on social media about this menace.

The Assam police has also been very strict to contain the spread of this fake information from last couple of weeks. It has so far established a monitoring system to check social media users spreading rumors about #COVID19.

According to a report of News18 India, a of total 52 cases had been registered for spreading rumors or uploading objectionable comments on social media, 25 people had been arrested and eight detained people released after issuing notice in this manner till Wednesday.

Sources also cited that counselling was done with 110 people and more than 120 social media posts had been deleted and many accounts were deactivated.

Assam DIPR has also formed a five-member committee for monitoring and checking fake news in all forms of media. The committee includes officials from the information, health, police and disaster management departments.

This committee is looking after fake news and also giving directions to district information officers to look after social media handles and activate WhatsApp numbers so that the public can get access to correct information.

While by maintaining social distancing can prevent the ‘one-step forward’ cause for #COVID19 pandemic, it is also important to follow the ‘social media distancing’ norms to prevent the ‘one-fake forward’ cause for rising infodemic.

#CheckTheFake on #COVID19

FAKE: ‘ONE-FAKE FORWARD’ claims – the Supreme Court of India has made an order saying that sharing of updates on COVID-19 on social media and WhatsApp is a punishable offence and the WhatsApp admins should watch out for police action.

FACT: The Supreme Court of India has not issued any order prohibiting people from sharing updates or information on COVID-19 on social media platforms or WhatsApp groups.

The message is being circulated along with a link to an article on Live Law website with the title ‘Centre Seeks SC Direction That No Media Should Publish COVID-19 News Without First Ascertaining Facts With Government’ highlighting that apart from getting the facts on novel coronavirus ascertained from government’s mechanism by the media, also includes the CJI SA Bobde’s order saying that the Supreme Court do not want interference into the free discussion about the pandemic, but also suggests that media should seek the official version of information on it (Times Fact Check of The Times of India, April 7).

#CheckTheFake is a movement against #Infodemic in this crisis, initiated by Dr Anamika Ray Memorial Trust #ARMT (www.armt.in) in collaboration with The Assam Tribune and Northeast Now (www.nenow.in) to create awareness on #fakenews on #Coronavirus and improve media literacy through #Cartoons. ARMT Research

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