False information and misleading narratives have been tools of conflict and statecraft since the fabled city of Troy fell to the ancient Greeks, and probably before. In the distant past, there were fabricated wooden horses, false witnesses, and faked plans. Today, we have fake news, false social media profiles, and fabricated narratives created to mislead—sometimes as part of coordinated cognitive warfare campaigns. Social media and the internet have enabled a disinformation revolution. We live in a world of low-cost digital instruments and media with radically expanded reach, scale, and impact. And the concern is that these easily accessible instruments are available not merely to state actors, but non-state actors, private individuals and everyone in between.
Young people are active users of online resources, but they do not always have the cognitive and emotional capacity to distinguish between reliable and unreliable information. As a result, not only can they be harmed by mis/disinformation, but may also spread it among their peers. Young people can be targets and objects of mis/disinformation, but they can also challenge and debunk misinformation.
The coin has two sides, as a result, every topic has advantages and disadvantages and in today’s article, we would love to talk about the positive and negative sides of disinformation and fake news. People will ask, what can be the advantages of disinformation and fake news? The answer is very simple, the advertisers take a big advantage of the fake news, as well as the influencers benefit from it. Today, fundamentalist violent extremist organizations have utilized social media to gather support for their groups by posting videos and articles of their actions online for the public to see. Fun and entertainment can be named as one of the biggest advantages of disinformation and fake news, many individuals use fake news in the form of satire or parody to have fun and get attention from their friends. Everyone loves to see funny stuff online, and most of the content you’ll find on the internet is either fabricated or twisted to make it more entertaining for viewers. There are any cons of fake news, which can escalate further at a wider level if not tackled on time. From a personal level to global, these Disadvantages of Fake News can affect social or economic harmony. The first disadvantage we can name is a change in public opinion, As said before, many political groups in the opposition divert the public’s attention from the main agenda using manipulated news. Defamation is among the disadvantages of fake news, False Perception, may lead to Social Unrest, and finally, fake news costs lives. With the surge in the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a surge in deaths associated with fake Coronavirus news too. In countries like India, people generally rely on messenger apps such as WhatsApp to consume news.
Evaluating these Advantages and Disadvantages of Fake News, you must understand the severity of the information you consume daily. There are more severe disadvantages of fake news than its benefits. Readers are the ones who get nothing in return. Once it starts spreading, there is no way to stop it. Be it for entertainment purposes or social issues; it’s the readers who need to determine how authentic and trustworthy news is. We identify four key groups that need to act: policymakers; civil society organizations, including academics and international organizations; technology companies; and parents, caregivers, and educators. Collectively, action is required to:
»Protect young people from the harms of mis/disinformation;
»Build and strengthen capacities among children and adults to navigate and evaluate digital
information environments; and
»Support further research into the causes, effects, and scale of mis/disinformation
targeted at young people.