We’re moving into the next stage of the Coronavirus outbreak as many states in India have finally gone under lockdown up until March 31. It’s been a tough and strange couple of months and it doesn’t help matters that there is a ton of fake news and misinformation being spread across social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, TikTok and more. Doing its part to stop the spread of fake news, the Indian government has written to companies such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, TikTok and ShareChat to clean up their respective platforms of misinformation during this trying time.
The advisory states, “Coronavirus the outbreak has become a global concern and it has been reported that there is a trend of circulation of misinformation and sharing anonymous data related to the virus, creating panic among the public”. The government has even asked social media platforms to look into starting more awareness campaigns and to spread and promote the correct information and news regarding the outbreak.
In a country of a billion people, there are bound to be miscreants and trolls looking to spread fake news. Experts have said that this is already huge flow of fake news and misinformation on Facebook and even on WhatsApp. The government is trying its level best to curb this.
In an interview with IANS, Pavan Duggal, one of the county’s leading cyberlaw experts also said, “Dedicated cybercriminal groups are spreading panic and the Indian government is helpless. Daily supplies are getting over fast as cybercriminals piggybacked on Dr. Trehan's popularity to send fake letter out and created panic.”
In a bid to curb the spread of fake information, Google has just launched a Coronavirus Search Hub and you can read more about it, here.