12’oclock onwards… Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes Will no longer be considered legal tender “the new notes will have nano-technology and GPS”[This is Aaj Tak Channel – during Demonitization]

If a lot of notes are kept in one place   the legal investigators and Income Tax Department will receive signals from these notes!  because it will straightaway send a signal to the satellite and will inform the authorities so that this money can be recovered. If it stays in banks, then the signal is useless and it will be discovered even if it is burried 120ft under the ground -even more

These were some fake news reported by renowned news channels, during demonetization.


As per definition from Wikipedia :

Fake news, also known as junk news, pseudo-news, alternative facts or hoax news, is a form of news consisting of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media or online social media

Types of Fake News:

So fake news can be of two types :

  1. First, ones that are completely baseless
  2. second, that presents correct information in a wrong manner.

 If you use WhatsApp, then you must have certainly come across such fake news While we usually find such news on WhatsApp or the internet. fake news or rumor-mongering is not a new concept.

Let’s check out their examples in this list of our of  Top 3 Favourite Fake News!

  1. No.3 on our list is this gentleman… who says that if you place Lays chips on a flame, they ignite and do not break so the only conclusion must be that the chips contain plastic, a fact-checking website talked to a scientist and declared that this claim is absolutely fake Just because the chips catch fire doesn’t mean they’re plastic!
  2. At No. 2, we have news from Uttar Pradesh where a rumor spread that there is a salt shortage in the market and see what chaos it caused
  3. At NO. 1, my favorite messages are those that are related to UNESCO! So UNESCO is an international organization that deals in matters of education, science, and culture But according to WhatsApp messages, UNESCO‘s only job is to give some of the other awards to India! Like UNESCO declaring our national anthem as the best anthem in the world or that Modi ji has been declared the best PM in the world But at the #1 spot is that ‘UNESCO’ message which leaves all the rest behind and that is… -budget drumroll- that UNESCO has declared Rajma Chawal as the Best Dish In The World

We’ll talk about 4 things related to Fake News :

1. The Importance of Fake News

2. Reasons for Creating Fake News

3. Reasons for Believing Fake News And most importantly

 4. How to Identify Fake News 

 Fake news an important issue because creating and spreading fake news can have serious consequences.  

Fake news has played a crucial role in many of the riots in India .

Professor Veena Das who teaches Anthropology wrote an excellent piece titled

‘Rumours and the Social Production of Hate’ which tells that fake news is used to create hate between certain communities.

 There’s a book written by Peter Manuel in 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished. He did a study about what kind of fake news was spread. He did a study about what kind of fake news was spread using audio cassettes And these tapes were and spread across rural UP. 

They were cheap to make and were distributed widely and people listened to them Two-three years before the Babri Masjid incident, several people were communalized and brainwashed using these tapes.

 Prior to this, rumors were also spread via word of mouth in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots   So in his book, Peter Manuel gives examples of such rumors.He tells us about the 1980 Hindu-Muslim riots in which 22 people lost their lives.

He writes that some Maruti cars would play audio cassettes till late in the night And these cassettes would start with sounds of Allahu Akbar and Jai Shree Ram After which screams of “Save me! Save me!” and “Kill them! Kill them!” would be played so that neighboring Hindus and Muslims would start doubting each other And imagine, this happened when WhatsApp hadn’t even been invented!

Apps like Whatsapp can make such rumors even more devastating Like in May 2017, this rumor spread on  WhatsApp across some districts in Jharkhand” “Some people in order to abduct children, are roaming around with things like drugs and injections” “If you see any stranger near your house, then contact the cops immediately because they could be from a child abduction gang” This rumor spread like wildfire across the villages and for this reason, a mob even ended lynching 7 people.

Legal consequences for spreading fake news :

There can even be strict legal consequences for creating and sharing fake news Mr. Kapil Garg of the Rajasthan Police tells us more about this If special persons are targeted then a crime occurs then one can be investigated under Indian Penal Code 500 or under section 66 of the IT Act And if it’s against society, then an investigation is done under IPC 153a, 153b or 295a Which can lead to arrests/jail of 2-5 years, or fines or both can also happen

So we hope that we’ve made you realize why fake news is a serious issue for our nation

 Who creates these fake news and why they do it   :

 There can be two main reasons for creating fake news –

  1. political or economic: Political reasons are pretty straightforward – promoting your ideology and condemn ing the opposition’s And almost every political party uses such messages to do so .
  • The second reason for creating fake news is, Fake news can be used to make money in 2 ways
  • First, for example, assume I work for a company like Pepsi So for my self-promotion I can start a rumor that Coke… …contains Pesticides -mini laws- so that their sales drop and I benefit from it
  • second way to make money from fake news is by writing clickbait articles that tempt people to click on them.

Look at these 2 headlines:  The first one is a normal one [“Sri Devi died because of accidental drowning..”]

Whereas the second one is a fake one:  that tries to intrigue people “Sri Devi had felt death approaching, could she . have saved herself?” .  When we click on these websites, they end up making money from ad revenue There are many such fake news websites in India that have commoditized fake news

 Why we believe in fake news   :

 We learned that people end up believing fake news for four primary reasons

1.Network Trust.

This means that if you believe the fake news sender then it’s possible that you would believe their message more easily So assume my best friend sends me this video saying that after India lost a cricket match to Pakistan… …Muslims in India chanted “Down with India!” then I may end up believing it.

2. pre-conceived beliefs

 which means if I already possess an opinion and if I get any fake news or message that supports that opinion, then it’s more probable that I’ll believe it But if it’s against that opinion, then I may not believe it so easily

So let’s assume Manish is a Congress supporter and he gets this message that Modi ji only studied till 10th grade then it’s a higher probability that he’ll believe it And assume that I oppose Congress, then I will easily believe it

The next reason could be Simplicity which means that if someone presents us with a Simple Lie and a Complex Truth then it’s more probable that our brain would  rather believe the Simple Lie

For example, assume unemployment in Maharashtra is on the rise which can have multiple reasons like the economy, government policy, and the private sector.

 But if someone tells us that the reason for this unemployment is immigrants from Bihar then we may easily believe that [Headline: MNS workers beat up north Indian fruit sellers] And the last reason is the Illusory Truth Effect Which simply states that if you say a lie a 1000 times, then it becomes the truth

So if my uncle sends me this message(which was actually circulated!) that Frooti has a worker’s HIV positive blood mixed in, I might not believe it at first But then if my best friend sends me the same message my brother and my neighbor send me the same message Then I may start believing it

 Now we’ll talk about the most important thing in this blog :

How can we identify fake news

fake news is of 3 types text, photo or video Fake text messages have 3 signs

  1. First, that it will not have any source named
  • Second, that even if there is a source named, there won’t be any link provided
  • And lastly, we’d say that if you receive any message stating NASA or UNESCO then please be careful because these are often fake Photos are also converted into

Fake news can be made in three ways

  1. First, using software like Photoshop
  • Second, by attributing a fake quote to a celebrity’s photo
  • third, by presenting a correct image but with a wrong perspective

Just like photos, videos can also be manipulated Like this video which was circulated with the following message: “A Hindu Marwari girl from Andhra Pradesh who married Muslim boy…. some Muslim beat her up real bad today and then set her ablaze All group members are requested to share this video so much that the PM takes instant action But this video is from Guatemala, not Andhra Pradesh!

In the end, we want to leave you with

 4 tips to deal with fake news

  1. Your strongest weapon is common sense if it seems fake to you, then it’s a good chance it might be!
  • If you receive any controversial message either religious or political Please DO NOT believe it immediately and  remember to definitely not share it without fact-checking it because as you saw earlier, that forwarding fake news can have some very serious consequences
  • If you hear some major news, like there’s about to be an earthquake in Delhi, and you hear about it only on WhatsApp and not on any other medium else, then there’s a good chance that is fake And
  • LASTLY, we’d highly recommend you to follow these fact-checking websites who verify news on a daily basis and tell us what’s true and what’s not like [links in description] So we hope that next time, you get such a fake message photo or video …then you will n-n-not believe it –

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