Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam, Purnendu Pritam
How many more innocent lives will fake WhatsApp messages claim? When will this storm of anarchy end?
From Maharashtra to Tripura, Assam and Tamil Nadu, videos of innocent people being slaughtered are doing the rounds on our smartphones. This is the face of our era of technology. This is the new truth of our new generation.
Pay attention to this WhatsApp message.
This message claims that in different parts of Jharkhand, a group of 15-20 people are going around posing a threat to your security. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal – in several states, such messages, supposedly ‘released in public interest’, are doing the rounds, almost as though they are no longer messages but a licence to kill or lynch innocents.
I have two questions:
- Who are the people spreading false messages?
- Who are these naive people who believe in these message?
The proprietors of these messages are the ones who want you to live in a state of constant fear. They want you to always be suspicious of those around you. This atmosphere provokes unwanted incidents which benefit someone somewhere.
There’s No Way to Authenticate Fake Messages
According to a research, 40 percent of educated youth fail to verify such WhatsApp messages.
India has about 50 crore internet users. Imagine billions of messages going across millions of smartphones every day. No one has the time or capability to verify the truth behind these messages.
Don’t you feel like several bombs are being rained down upon us every day, all in the guise of fake WhatsApp messages? These bombs can blow up any time and claim the lives of countless innocent people.
Let’s discuss these who these mobs are that lynch people blindly at the drop of a hat. They seldom stop to even see if the person is guilty or innocent.
- Have we lost faith in our system?
- Have we no fear of the law?
Or do we think the law is in our hands. Whether we break it or distort it, it will be on our side.
Social media literacy has become an important factor across the globe in filtering out fake news. Cheap data plans have taken WhatsApp to those corners where people don’t understand ‘fake news.’
Facebook claims there is no place for hate messages on WhatsApp or any of it’s platforms. But right now, these seem to be mere statements. The government and Facebook don’t have the ability to stop the spread of these messages.
There was a time when we would believe anything that we read. But now, we should assume every message on WhatsApp to be false. If they eventually turn out to be true, then good.
I implore you to explain to your close ones that blindly believing WhatsApp messages is not just stupid but can also result in the death of innocents.