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Letter Of The Week

Letter Of The Week
February 10
17:27 2018

Countering fake news

Fake news has become a controversial, highly contested issue.

But in the public discourse, “fake news” is often used to refer to several different phenomena. The lack of clarity around what exactly fake news is makes understanding the social harms that it creates and crafting solutions to this harm difficult.

These days the two underpinning features of “fake news” are, either the writer intends to deceive readers or acting as a motivation for creating financial gain. Sometimes it is also aimed at creating a hoax and propaganda.

We are exposed to fake news on a daily basis. Sometimes it does irreparable damage to a person or an organisation. Even some media organisations right throughout the world have labelled last years buzz word to be “fake news”.

Many use social media platforms like Facebook to express their agenda. This is gripping us and our society like never before. At times this even influences the decision we make and gives rise to prejudice and stereotypical views.

Now the big question is how to differentiate between fake and authentic news. I believe media literacy is very important. This could start right from our schools.

The policy makers could see how best this could be incorporated in our school curriculum so that young people could identify real news and filter out fake or false information.

Our law enforcement agencies could also empower our people to check the authenticity of the information online.

I deeply believe that only responsible authorities take ownership of this phenomena. This is here to stay.

Pranil Ram will receive a Philips dry iron from Courts as our Letter of the Week winner.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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