Fake News: An Overview On Indian Perspective

Over the years, Fake News have emerged as a big challenge in India both for the government and the civil society. Fake news can be misinformation, where information is missing, or information which is circulated is partly or Fully incorrect. However more seriously, it entails deliberate disinformation where false and misleading information is sowed to mislead, manipulate or harm for which there is invariably a large economic price tag attached.

The information we reach nowadays has never been easier and faster before 2 to 3 decades. At that time, The Scenario in India was Different where there were no digitalization of media, it was the traditional media which acted as “light in the darkness” by way of providing the news and necessary information to the people. After witnessing traditional media, gradually we are moving towards the modern world where we as a highly developed society, have created massive forms of communication and various methods of obtaining information including phone applications that allow people to reach the news at the very moment when they are released.

However such easy availability of news and information is biggest reason to convey the misinformation by way of fake news. One of the Global survey shows that in India, 49% of the people are forwarding the news without confirming through authorised or Trusted Sources which was one of the biggest reason that assisting in the setting up the market of fake news in India. The World Economic Forum ranks the spread of misinformation and fake news as among the world’s top global risks.

The most shocking part comes into picture where it was found that the amount spent by the countries on cyber security is lesser than what countries spending on fake news. As per the World Economic Forum Report 2019, India spends 140 Million Dollar on Fake news whereas the USA Spends 200 Million Dollar on Fake news. the Fact is such amount is much higher at the time of Elections.

Several fake reports of the mainstream media were also called out by the police. Some of Few Examples of Fake News are,

– It may be related to the death of Any Celebrity or Political Leader.
– It may be in Connection with any Financial Assistance by Government.
– It may be in relation to any disaster.
– It may be in connection with ill-effect of any amendment in Law on society

The Recent Case of Fake news is regarding Novel Covid-19 where Various Messages are circulated through Social media in connection with either Extension or Removing of lockdown, Resuming the Railway Services and Various medicines that eradicate the Covid-19. Indian Government has taken the strict view and announce that in case if any misinformation or Fake news during the period of Lockdown is circulated throughout any medium, it shall be strictly punishable under the National Disaster Management Act and Under Indian Penal Code as well.

The fact is fake news or misinformation is more dangerous than any Disease since disease can be traceable on the first or second stage and can successfully be prevented from spreading into others if right steps are taken at the right time. However in case of Fake news even though the news is removed from where it is generated, till that time it is already circulated amongst Millions of people. Removing the origin of fake news does not mean that such fake news is completely eradicated from its grassroots and such removal does not helping out in preventing the spreading of fake news amongst people. However, There are certain ways from which we can protect our society from the Fake news. Some of them are listed as follows,

1. Don’t rely only on social media –

Whenever any news is forwarded through social media it does not mean that the said news is always correct. Before coming to any conclusion in respect of the said news, always confirm the said news from trusted sources and check its authenticity so that if it’s fake news we can prevent it from outside to circulate amongst others.

2. Use different search engines-

Try using different search engines. Search engines are not neutral. Search engines keep track of your search habits and try to customize your search hits based on your past searching habits.

3. Give breaking news stories time to develop-

The full story takes time to report accurately. Breaking news stories will often get the facts wrong. Give time for a story to be discovered. Hold off on your opinions and judgment on a story until more information is known to reporters.

4. Develop a healthy dose of skepticism-

When reading anything, even from traditional news sources, be skeptical. Look for information, photos, language that is meant to sway you to a particular point of view. Even when reading something from a traditional news source or something that your relatives share with you.


In short, Fake news is nothing but another form of man-made disaster where it not only going to harm the maker but in such scenario the whole nation has to pay the price by bearing the huge loss.

Most importantly Whenever we say that it is the duty of Media to provide true and perfect information to the people. We also remember that as a citizen we too have equal responsibility not to promote any fake news or spread any rumours or misinformation which is going to harm our nation.

This article is authored by Adv.Rudra.M.Dani, BLS/LLB from KES Jayantilal H Patel Law College.

Also Read – Whether Creating a Fake Facebook Account is a Punishable Offence?

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