How many times have you seen emotionally overcharged viral news, sensitive photographs, hate mongering speeches, videos and exaggerated memes on your timeline, which find their way back like a boomerang no matter how hard you push them away.
Recently one such news broke the internet, of a granddaughter finding her grandmother accidentally in a old age home visit. The content is so emotional that our brains make us share and spread the message of caring for the elders. In that hurry though, most of us miss the most basic fact checking.
Shame on such people... https://t.co/I589oDJMqw— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) August 21, 2018
A few hours later, some media houses came forward to check the validity of the story. They found that the basic elements of the story were true but the way it was shared was not at all correct.
They found that the picture was taken way back in the year 2007. And now somebody used it to build a viral sensation across platforms.
This may seem like a harmless effort of gaining attention or creating a buzz in the social media or it could have been done with an aim to increase the followers of a particular account. But it is evident that, in this case, the real incident's timeline was altered. Somebody presented it as a recent event that originally took place 9 years ago.
Imagine if the same would have been done with an old video of some inappropriate but hidden speech of some anonymous leader who represents a particular community and was played in the current timeline.
People like us are would have started sharing it across, again without thinking once and it could have resulted in chaos.
I was fortunate enough to attend one of the first WhatsApp workshops conducted by Facebook in India one month back where they explained us the type of fake news being created by social media or media platforms theses day. And Now It's upon us to recheck it before sharing it forward.
1. Altering with the actual timeline
2. Exaggerating a story
3. Fake data representation
4. Mixing two events or stories and creating an exaggerated story
5. Creating fake news by using big names of organization and people and presenting them with unauthorized use of some logo.
The responsible social media companies are doing their bit to educate us.
Now, not only do we need to open our eyes but also our minds and before sharing anything across platforms, try to make a calculated judgment on the content, it's validity as well as credibility.
Now, more than ever.