Satyameva Jayate: Digital Media Literacy
- 02 Jan 2021
- 5 min read
Why in News
The Kerala Government has recently announced a digital media literacy programme called ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (Truth alone triumphs) to counter the menace of Fake News.
- The programme would be taught at schools and colleges, which would be encouraged to develop curriculum on digital media literacy.
- The programme would cover five points :
- What is wrong information.
- Why they are spreading fast.
- What precautions have to be adopted while using the content of social media.
- How those who spread fake news make profit.
- What steps can be initiated by citizens.
- Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs") is a part of a mantra from the Hindu scripture Mundaka Upanishad.
- Following the independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto of India on 26th January 1950.
- It is inscribed in the Devanagari script at the base of the Lion Capital of Ashoka and forms an integral part of the Indian national emblem.
- The emblem and the words "Satyameva Jayate" are inscribed on one side of all Indian currency and national documents.
- Menace of Fake News:
- Fake news is untrue information presented as news. It often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity, or making money through advertising revenue.
- Once common in the print and digital media, the prevalence of fake news has increased with the rise of social media and messengers.
- Political polarization, post-truth politics, confirmation bias, and social media have been implicated in the spread of fake news.
- Threats Posed
- Fake news can reduce the impact of real news by competing with it.
- In India, the spread of fake news has occurred mostly with relation to political and religious matters.
- However, misinformation related to Covid-19 pandemic was also widely circulated.
- Fake news spread through social media in the country has become a serious problem, with the potential of it resulting in mob violence.
- Internet shutdowns are often used by the government as a way to control social media rumours from spreading.
- Ideas such as linking Aadhaar to social media accounts have been suggested to the Supreme Court of India by the Attorney General.
- In some parts of India like Kannur in Kerala, the government conducted fake news classes in government schools.
- The government is planning to conduct more public-education initiatives to make the population more aware of fake news.
- Fact-checking has sparked the creation of fact-checking websites in India to counter fake news. For example Alt News.
- Recently, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to provide information on the existing legal mechanisms to deal with complaints about the content on television channels. Further it has asked the Centre to create an authority to check fake news and bigotry on air.
- The government must take the initiative to make all sections of the population aware of the realities of this information war and evolve a consensus to fight this war. Strict action against the fake news providers.
- Government should have an independent agency to verify the data being circulated in social and other media. The agency should be tasked with presenting real facts and figures.
- Social media websites should be made accountable for such activities so that it becomes their responsibility to have better control over the spread of fake news.
- The artificial intelligence technologies, particularly machine learning and natural language processing, might be leveraged to combat the fake news problem.
- Programmes such as above of kerala government need to be replicated in other states to ensure students are aware of the problem of fake news and have the ability to tackle it and as well as make their families aware of it.