We live in a world where every passing second breaks some thrilling news. The most convenient sources of news are social media and media in general. Whereas, we feel satisfied with our being’ able to access these sources and feast our eyes and ears on exciting stuff, we blame and curse them for the ills of the world and the emergence of fake news (which has become very common these days). Well, fake news is not a modern world phenomenon; hundreds of years ago, fake news was as common as it is now. The difference (why we feel fake news very common these days) lies in the spread of fake news and definitely social media is to be blamed for that. Whereas major responsibility lies on the media houses/channels for not being able to keep their ,diligence intact and causing unrest in the society due to fake news, we, as the consumers of news are equally responsible for the spread and unrest. Allah Almighty says in Surah Al-Hujra’at: 0 you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with important news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance [out of haste in belief and making decision], and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done. (Quran,49:6)
Why are we so easy victims of the fake news? Among several other reasons, one lies in the vulnerability of our mind that can very easily be guided by others and we like ‘driven cattle’ are dragged to the stuff that charms us. We don’t even mind spreading the news of somebody’s death and the news keeps on piling up with comments carrying sympathies and condolences until The dead’ has to come out of his grave and confirm that he is still alive. We are morally hallowed and I severely deprived of conscientiousness. To prevent ourselves from being easy fools to the fake news, we have to relearn the lesson that Duran taught us hundreds of years ago (see surah Al-Hujraat, ayah 6). Here are a few more tips:
i) always investigate the source for its credibility,
ii) see if the news is correctly dated in order to avoid re-circulation of old news,
iii) see if the news is properly backed up by the experts of the relevant fields, iv) if you find the formatting and language of the news awkward. (doubt it,
v) the readers should have some knowledge about the literary devices like irony, satire, etc., as along with ‘entertainment’ (which is the basic purpose of satire), they can misinform and misguide as well And this is how we can defeat fake news and its propagators.