The spread of fake news must be curtailed

Published: Thu 12 Sep 2019, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Thu 12 Sep 2019, 11:27 PM

Fake news is a threat to honest discourse, and is dangerous in today's turbulent political atmosphere. With growing evidence of interference in the democratic processes around the world, the debate over how to expose and eliminate fake news is certain to intensify. Fake news poisons the atmosphere we operate in. Since this is a grim reality people have become doubtful of all news. The cardinal feature of fake news is to dismantle the credibility of institutions including the media and honest journalism. It reinforces a traditional mission of journalism which tries to shine a light in the dark - for societies and the general public.
Fake news is a grave threat to democracy and the fictitious messages exploit the functional logic of social networks. And mistrust is the poison that destroys every society. We stand paralysed against false and fake news which comes in the guise of scoops.
A potent strategy to counter the pace must be devised. Currently it is an unequal struggle with clear advantages for the aggressor. Many have turned fake news from a weapon of deception to a weapon of mass destruction of legitimate news. It has become a rumour mill operating to destabilise global democracies. Operating in the shadows, under a cloak of secrecy, it disgorges its venom with potent accuracy. Ignore it at your peril.
- Farouk Araie, South Africa




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