At a time when the world is fighting the dreaded coronavirus pandemic, some black elements in the society are creating a scary and sensational atmosphere by spreading fake news on social media. In other words, we can say that fake news and fake social media accounts have become a new threat to the lives of general masses and it needs to be handled as soon as possible. Apart from other countries and various states of India, here in Jammu Kashmir, the fake news and fake spread via fake social accounts have tuned a nuisance amid COVID-19 situation.
Since past many weeks, Police registered many FIRs against such fake account handlers who published fake government orders, and fake COVID-19 advisories etc. The fake account handlers lately surprised and misled thousands of people in Jammu Kashmir when the fake accounts of Secretary Planning and official spokesperson of J&K government, Rohit Kansal and Commissioner Secretary Home, Shaleen Kabra surfaced.
However, Cyber Police swung into action and registered FIRs against the persons involved in creating fake accounts and publishing fake news. One among them was identified as a student of Srinagar city and has been booked under IT and other acts.
The world today is suffering from information disorder. It has become very difficult to distinguish between the truth and the falsehood. Misinformation linked to supposed cures and misleading claims has proliferated on social media
The novel coronavirus has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak, but experts say stronger action from authorities and tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online.
It is not for the first time when fake account handlers have hit the news. For many years, the fake account handlers, like different state of India, are also active in J&K. In the past, these people have shown their active role in spreading hate comments, trolls, and communal comments though administration in J&K has constituted a full-fledged Cyber Cell and police station to deal with such kind of people.
However, it is unfortunate that this cell remained more focussed on militant-related activities and the black elements in society who have chocked the normal life of people by spreading hate comments and trolls remained unabated.
Now that the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic has once again rung the bell and grabbed the attention toward the fake news and fake account handlers and rumour mongers. The authorities should take strict action and initiative to deal with this menace before it is too late because this menace could become a global threat within no time.