Social media! We live in a virtual world more than being in the real one. And social media is a place where you hang out more than what you once did- being amid friends in coffee-shops and shopping malls. Even when you’re in an exhibition, movie-theatre, live-show, in midst of a performance at a conference hall or wherever- you are on social media.
That does suck at so many levels, especially for those around. Doesn’t it?
And what’s the greatest place to be in, inside the augmented reality called social media- WhatsApp- what else?
But the problem with social media isn’t just the obsession it breeds or results in. Rather, the problem is the contagion it can create. In an age favouring digital disruption, where more often than one addresses you by your full name, one concocts a nickname- it’s common to see people engrossed amid, trolls, memes and that kind of stuff.
What this does, in effect, is that it gives content a shot of the adrenaline- called virality. Yes, it earns no one any brownie points to learn that we are but in an age that engenders the growth of viral content. And in here lies the problem.
So utterly consuming and addictive is this facet called viral content that often, one simply doesn’t know how to separate the truth from fabrication. So what has this done? Well, of course, it’s birthed another phenomenon that one hadn’t even heard of in previous times- fake news.
Real news is out and Fake news is in- this is the simple order of the day and unnaturally so, a natural order of the things today. Nearly every day of your life, each minute, from time to time, you’re being fed a malicious diet of fake news. And who remains hidden behind the fake news are normal human beings with 2 pairs of limbs each. There’s nothing different to these venomous species apart from the fact that whilst you’re doing a constructive job and busy amid balancing social and professional life, there are those whose only job is to manufacture fake news.
And where can one find fake news in aplenty? WhatsApp- where else? Well, in our times today, WhatsApp has risen as the breeding ground for fake news. If you’ve got the most spineless controversy and rumour to share, all you need today is to create a wallpaper, post or troll (in form of a meme) out of it and share it ahead on WhatsApp.
Our lives are invaded by fake news. It spreads its venomous wings around and hisses at us with lies and substances that are absolutely botched up version of things.
It’ll spread faster than the speed of sound. For the longest time now, many of the world’s nations have been ruing the advent of social media for that duality in its role. While on the one hand it’s upped the ante of communication, it’s plunged our existences with the fabrication of truths at the behest of supplementing us with information and snippets of valuable knowledge.
It was about time that WhatsApp, clearly where the world loves to indulge in instant messaging did something about the malaise. And guess what, it appears that finally, things are changing for the better.
It’s believed that in a bid to place the spread of fake news under the hammer, the world’s leading instant-messaging platform is going to come cracking down on lies and rumours. No more than 5 recipients can any forwards be sent to in the forthcoming days.
Popular economic and business newspaper Economic Times published an important report that was in relation to WhatsApp’s imminent plan and it contained a simple outline that said Whatsapp is launching a test to limit forwarding on WhatsApp. “In India — where people forward more messages, photos, and videos, than any other country in the world — we’ll also test a lower limit of five chats at once and we’ll remove the quick forward button next to media messages.”
That told, it is about time to see how soon can the above be actually implemented and whether other social-media platforms can take a leaf from the instant messaging app to do their bit toward spreading the unwanted communicable disease on smartphones and computer screens called fake news.