Sunday, May 13, 2018

Spreading of unverified news

This is my approach towards fake news.

If someone shared an article or video, I said, "Oh, is it?". I do not believe it totally, neither do I reject it. I could be true. It could be fake.

If it is fake, someone will point out that it was fake. And the truth would be revealed.

Sometimes, I was involved in sharing a news or video that turned out to be fake. I did not know that it was fake, and I did not have the information to verify it.

I believe that the sharing helped to reveal the truth.

In the old days, rumors are circulated by word of mouth. There was less opportunity to verify the truth. And many people believed the fake news. It was more harmful.

Today, fake news could be exposed more easily and the truth will be known soon.

Here is an example. Recently, there was a video that was widely circulated. it showed the police investigating bags of currency notes that was alleged to be taken from the house of Najib Razak.

Someone remembered that the video was produced two years earlier and it involved a government official in Sabah. Clearly, the person who used the original video and put it in a different context was producing fake news.

The people who shared it did not realize that it was fake, but the falsehood was discovered quite quickly through the sharing of the video.

We should not have any new law against the sharing of fake news. If there should be a law, it should be targeted against the person who deliberate created it.

We should not stop the sharing of unverified news. Some of them might turn out to be true. This is how malpractice and corruption can be exposed.

If a law is created to stop the spread of unverified news, it would be used by corrupt governments to prevent their corruption from being exposed.

Tan Kin Lian

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