Fighting fake news key for strengthening democracy

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Of late, the number of people using digital platforms has increased. At the same time, we have witnessed the spread of disinformation and fake news, rumors, hate speech, and writings aimed at inciting conflict across the globe, which are threatening the peace and stability of international communities.
Due to poor digital literacy, some agencies have been successful in spreading fake news to promote personal interests at the cost of public interest.
It has been found that fakes news or disinformation is being used to influence voters and groundless accusations are being leveled in international elections.
Such fake and fabricated news is emerging through social media, which is less regulated, and tarnishing the freedom of expression, a basic human right.
At such a time, countries like ours that are transitioning into a democracy are taking additional precautions to prevent conflict, chaos, and instability due to misuse of our newly acquired freedoms.
To avoid the spread of fake news, which often targets poorly educated people, journalists need to provide professional and accurate news stories.
At the same time, we can raise awareness about digital literacy through the media and educate people to curb the dissemination of fake news, which can encourage conflict and wrong views.
Social media is regarded as a major source of fake news. Many people tend to share fake news without vetting it properly.
Fake news can damage a democratic system, the stability of a country, and the image of the media.
Elections are an integral part of any democracy. It has been found that fake or fabricated news is being used to manipulate voters, and baseless accusations are being exchanged in elections in countries globally.
The media plays in important role in ensuring free and fair elections for electing representatives who can further the interests of a country and its people. The people have the right to access information through the media so that they can take correct decisions, based on their opinion. It is the duty of journalists to provide accurate information to the people.
We would like to urge all media persons to ensure that democracy takes firm root in our country, and our freedom to write, express, and speak is not lost again.

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