Posted by Gokul
Scaremongering messages and status feeds has become the order of the day during times of disaster and tragedies. The latest has been the message spreading through facebook and sms saying that the nuclear reactors in tsunami stricken Japan has given away. Networking makes it easy for such messages to be spread. And more often than not, people accept it without a hesitation. Not all such fake feeds need be harmful though. I also happened to come across a note, supposedly authored by Harsha Bhogle which turned out to be fake. And also a comment attributed to Sachin (supposedly made after the Indian debacle against South Africa), ‘ I was still changing out of my sweaty clothes and taking a shower and was shocked to see the whole team back…’ which on googling showed up just ‘social networking sites and blogs and not any credible source by which it can be attributed to Sachin.
While the latter ones make good humour, spreading fake news as in the case of Japan creates a fear psychosis which can be counter productive in times of real need. The most distressing aspect of this phenomenon is that all this can be avoided by the simple act of googling up the relevant data. The fake Japan message had ‘BBC alert‘ in it. That makes very easy to check for authenticity. Copy paste the first few lines of the message and add BBC or go directly to their site (bbc.co.uk) and find out.
While information super highways have truly made the world flat and has made available all the information ever collected by mankind at the tip of our fingers, we seem to be satisfied by the unreferenced messages coming from strangers through the social networking sites.
Remember the last time you were reprimanded by your parent or friend for a careless comment and reminded of the need to ‘Think before you talk’. Well the basic rules remain the same for your online identity also, but with minor differences in the terminology:
GOOGLE BEFORE YOU POST