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Author(s): Shraddha Shahane

Email(s): shraddhashahane25@gmail.com

Address: Librarian, Govt. Arts and Commerce College, Mohna, Distt – Gwalior, M.P. India.
*Corresponding author: shraddhashahane25@gmail.com

Published In:   Volume - 29,      Issue - 2,     Year - 2023


Cite this article:
Shahane (2023). New Challenges for Indian Libraries Against the Fake News. Journal of Ravishankar University (Part-A: SOCIAL-SCIENCE), 29(2), pp. 33-39. DOI:



New Challenges for Indian Libraries Against the Fake News

            Dr. Shraddha Shahane

Librarian, Govt. Arts and Commerce College, Mohna, Distt – Gwalior, M.P. India

*Corresponding author: shraddhashahane25@gmail.com

Abstract:

This paper describes the concept of fake news in the Indian context. Additionally, it covers the various social media platforms and how they contribute to the creation and spread of fake news. The residents of our nation actively use a variety of social media platforms to disseminate information. The various characteristics, types, reasons, and impacts of fake news on society, etc. are also covered in this paper. Additional aspects related to preventing fake news are also included in this article, such as fact-checking websites, detection techniques, and actions to take. The new role and challenges faced by Indian libraries in this regard are also covered in this paper.

Keyword: Fake information, Mal-information, social media, fact finding sites, social media users

________________________________________________________________________

1.Introduction:

We currently live in a digital society. In modern civilization, information is produced, circulated, and consumed very quickly. The proper interpretation of information, however, has grown to be a significant social issue. Inaccurate information interpretation has a significant negative impact on society's citizens. Finding out whether received information is accurate or inaccurate is a very difficult task. Due to the rapid rate of information production and dissemination, the majority of society has been harmed by false information. Fake news is another word used to describe misleading information.

In the modern world, everyone is surrounded by an ocean of fake news that is purposefully produced to mislead readers, founded on false information, and widely circulated to spread rumors. The spread of misleading information has grown to be a big problem as a result of the development of social media and the internet. As more people seek out and disseminate factual information in this climate of fake news, libraries' obligations are growing.

In this society, librarians serve as the fact-checkers and gatekeepers of reliable information that is disseminated to the general public. As the generation of information online impacts both its quality and quantity, it is currently very difficult for librarians to know the truth or the facts. Every day, a lot of false information spreads quickly throughout the world, making it challenging for librarians to verify the accuracy of every piece of information. As a result, it is turning into an educator.

 

2. Review of Literature:

Negi (2018) conducted this study to know the awareness level of students on fake news. He discussed the difference between fake and real information.He enforced on the term of Media and information literacy to handle the fake news.He also explained the role of librarians to develop the student’s capacity for identifying fake news.He also gave suggestion on conducting workshop and courses to increase the awareness level of students against fake news.

De Paora & Heravi (2020) stated the importance of information literacy to combat the issue of fake news.They discussed the role of library professionals to increase the information literacy against the fake news.They explained different kinds of programmes to increase the literacy among the public e.g. instructional programmes, workshops and guidelines etc. They also explained the importance of libraries in the era of fake information.

Patra and Pandey (2021) discussed the problem of fake news during the COVID 19 period.They explained the different social media platforms which are the main sources for spreading the fake news.They discussed the two ways i.e. critical thinking and information literacy which are helpful to identify the truth of news.They also described the different fact checking sites available at India.They also explained that fake news found in different formats.They focused on the awareness of peoples.

Kim, L. N. (2022) studied the effect of fake news in the academic libraries situated at Vietnam. He explained that youth generation faced the problem of fake information due to using social media platforms. He studied on the users of 3 university’s libraries situated at different parts of the country. He discussed the crucial role of libraries to literate the students for fighting against the fake news. He also described availability of different resources at the libraries which are useful to identify the fake news. He also focused on the organization of digital literacy programs against this fight.

 

3.Meaning of Fake News:

It is a form of sensational, fake, and fabricated news that is purposefully produced and disseminated to the general public in order to mislead them. The word fake news is also commonly known as– disinformation, misinformation, junk news, mal information, false news hoaxes, Deliberate lies, misrepresentations, rumours etc. The primary goal of creating false news is to quickly gain popularity and financial gain. Sometimes it is also made to promote sensationalism in order to harm the reputation of any well-known individual. The users of fake news quickly propagate it. This kind of news is not accompanied by factual documents or supporting evidence. Before the development of printing technology, information was transmitted orally from one person to another. During the 2016 US Presidential election, this term was frequently used. Although this idea is not new, it is currently having a much greater impact on our society as a result of the digital revolution. This type of news is occasionally produced and disseminated by politicians, scammers, jokers, groups, and anyone else looking to quickly gain fame. It was created with profit-oriented goals in mind, whether they be political, personal, or economic.

Different kinds of reference sources defined the word fake news: -

Cambridge dictionary defined fake news as a false stories that appear to be newsspread on the internet or using other media, usually created to influence political views or as a joke (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/ dictionary /english/fake-news, n.d.)

IFLA Statement on Fake News 20 August 2018 described that False or misleading stories claiming to be factual – if they are believed – risk undermining this decision-making.(https://www.ifla.org/)

Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner’s Dictionaryexplained that”Ifyou describe information as fake news, you mean that it is false even though it is being reported as news, for example by the media”(https://www.collins dictionary.com/)

Digital guide explains Fake news refers to false reports or misinformation shared in the form of articles, images, or videos which are disguised as “real news” and aim to manipulate people’s opinions. Fake news is spread by social media users and hidden social bots which comment on, repost, and retweet such news items. (https://www.ionos.com/digitalguide/)

Fake news is a type of false information that is knowingly created in a variety of formats, including articles, videos, and modified photographs. Different social media platforms play an important role to spread fake news among the public. Spreading misleading info turns into a dangerous act for our society. During the COVID-19 pandemic, about 138 countries faced the problem of fake news. At this time about 9,657 misinformation spread using social media. Unfortunately, India is the biggest source of fake news during this period.(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/)

Figure-1


4.Characteristics Of Fake News:-  

Different characteristics explain in various studies conducted by researchers. These features are showing in this chart:-

Figure-2

 5.Relation Between Social Media and Fake News: -

Social media is a platform that is now growing significantly and is being used to disseminate information quickly. The word "fake news" was not traditionally a term that was often used. However, social media and the internet have made this phrase very popular. The dominance of misleading news has grown as a result of the popularity of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and others. Social media sites significantly contribute to the creation and rapid dissemination of fake news. Most people today are unable to differentiate between true news and fake news. Due to illiteracy, it becomes challenging to control fake news, and the majority of people believe it. Most of the fake news creators did so on intent and for self benefit. Without caring about the outcome, these creators used the social media platform to spread news. These platforms make it simple to spread false information while charging little to nothing. Its negative effects on society's general public are becoming a major problem. We are currently dealing with the infodemic and fighting it. The only way to address the infodemic problem is to ensure that accurate and verified information reaches the public.

6.Users of Social Media Platforms at India: -

Our world has changed as a result of social media, as we all know. Today, users from all over the world are quickly embracing these platforms. It gives users a place to create, search for, and send various kinds of information to other connected users. India is the second-largest user of social media platforms worldwide. According to https://datareportal.com/, total social media users of our country were 467 million (33.4% of total population) in January 2022 (Digtal2022: India). It is the possibility to reach the users up to approximately 448 million in Jan 2023.During 2018 to 2022, social media users are continuously increasing at India. Last 5 years data are shown in the Figure 3 which denotes that Indian users are increasing at social media platforms. Maximum growth of 90 million users found during 2019 to 2020.

Figure-3

Social Media Users Increase

(Source of data taken from https://datareportal.com/reports)

7.Different kinds of most using social media platforms and its users in India: -

Communities on the internet can now access a variety of platforms. These platforms have evolved into a modern central nervous system for information transmission. Our nation has the second-largest population of social media users. Here table-1 shown different types of social media platforms. The Indian users are mostly used Whatsapp in the year 2022.This table is clearly shown that Social media will be providing a massive market in our country.Any person from any place can send different types of information without taking more time. This platform is circulating information in very fast way.

                                                            Table-1

Name of Social Media Platforms

Indian Users upto 2022(In Million)

Whatsapp

534.30

Instagram

503.37

Facebook

491.53

Youtube

467.0

Telegram

374.40 

Facebook Messenger

324.39

Twitter

295.44

Snapchat

282.28

LinkedIn

244.78

Pinterest

229.64

MxTakaTak

153.97

SkyPe

151.34

Moj

151.34

Sharechat

137.52

Discord

119.76

(Source of data taken from https://www.theglobalstatistics.com/)

8. Categories of Fake News: -

1. Parody or Satire: - It creates only to make fool not to harm.

2. Deceptive content: - It is used to frame a problem or a person .

3.Imposter news:- Authentic sources are impersonated.

4. Fabricated material: - It creates for the purpose of deceive and harm. It is fully false.

5. Fake connection: Misrepresenting the material with varied headlines, images, and captions. There is no similarity between it.

6. False context: - Using correct information with fake contextual information.

7. Manipulated news:- correct news and image manipulate to fool.

UNESCO categorized three types of fake information:-

1.Disinformation: - It is purposefully made to hurt an individual, a social group, an organisation, or a nation.

2.Misinformation: -It is fake but not intentionally created to damage.

3.Mal-information: - It is based on facts and is used to harm a person, a social group, an organisation, or a nation.

9.Reasons for Spreading the Fake News: -

1.Motive of earning money in less time.

2.Achieve online fame in less time due to number of followers.

3.Decrease in the good reading habits among the people after coming of smart phone, internet facility and social media platforms.

4.Lack of information literacy skill among the public. People have not capacity to identify the difference between fake and real news.

5.Increase trust on the social media platform as these provide a platform for communication between family members and friends.

10.Impact of False News on our Society: -

Social media acts as a link between producers and consumers. News propaganda is a very common act on this platform. Our society is currently facing a serious issue due to the market for false information. Its effects might reveal how the public's opinion has changed. Whatsapp is the biggest distributor of fake news for our country. Our society has experienced issues with mob lynching, racial riots, mental stress, trolling, and reputational damage as a result of the spread of fake information. India has a diverse population that follows a variety of customs and traditions and belongs to various castes, communities, and religions, making it challenging to identify fake news there.

1.It creates more confusion and uncertainty among the peoples on any incident.

2.Its effect on the mental status of people on political issues.

3.Psychological effects find on the religious and community matter.

4.It damages the toleration of community on the various matter such as entertainment, religion etc.

5.It creates the atmosphere of fear and sensation among the society on various sensitive matter.

6.It damages the reputation of any persons or institution.

7. Its effect on the large community due to emotional and passionate language.

8.Several times it is beneficial or harmful for government, corporates due to emotional appeal.

11.Fact checking websites: - Today number of websites are available which are helpful to examine the reality of news.

1.Factcheck.org

2. Snopes.com

3. PolitiFact.com

4.TruthOrFiction.com

5.altnews.in

6.webQoof

7.Vishvas news

8.Fact Crescendo

9.India Today : Fact check

10.Newsmobile

11.Factly

12.Newschecker

13.digit EYE India

14.ProTruthPledge.org

15.FactsCan.ca

12.Strategies for Spotting Fake News: -

Different steps are constructed for spotting fake news by various organizations/person which is mentioning in given comparative chart.:-

                                          Table-2

S.No.

 Name of Organizations /person

Concept Known as

Steps

 

1.

MediaSmart

5W

1.What types of fake news should I see it?

2. Why is it being circulated??

3.Who is circulating it? Are they reliable in terms of accuracy??

4. When did the spread begin?

5.Where else can I learn if something is true?

2.

Mike Caufield

SIFT

1.Stop: Consider about the source of news with your object before consuming it.

2.Investigate the source: Firstly, know that who is the producer of thenews and what its motivations might be.

3.Find better coverage: Reliable news will be available onmultiple sources. Look and determine from more than one sources.

4.Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context : Compare with original context and trace that what was left out in the reframing of news.

3.

News Media Canada

SPOT

1 Is this a credible source?

2.Is the perspective biased?

3.Are other sources reporting the same story?

4. Is the story timely?

4.

IFLA

 

1.   Think about the source

2.   Verify the author;

3.   Verify the author;

4.   Examine your biases

5.   Go beyond

6.   Support Sources

7.   Is it a joke?

8.   Consult an expert

5.

The University of Toronto at Mississauga Library

The CRAAP Test

1.   Currency

2.    Relevance

3.    Authority

4.    Accuracy

5.    Purpose

6.

Santa Barbara City Colledge Luria Library

The P.R.O.V.E.N. Test

1.Purpose

2.  Relevance

3.  Objectivity

4.  Verifiability

5.  Expertise

6.Newness

13.Steps for stopping fake news: -

1.Pre-expouser warning must show its prevalent effect.

2.Mostly peoples share the information on the basis of its heading. They have share it without reading full information. It must necessary to develop a capacity of correct evaluation of information before share the news.

3.It must necessary to identify the sources of fake information e.g. authority, credibility, publishing authority etc.

4.Provide the knowledge about the ranking of search engine because most of the users retrieve and accept news from the first page on search engine. It is dangerous for users to mislead him.Then it is essential for the users to learn that how ranking of websites is given.

5. Check the supporting source and date before sharing the news.

6.Firstly check that it is not a joke.

7.Ask the expert to know the reality of news.

14.New Challenges for the Indian Libraries: -

Due to the widespread and easy spread of false information in printed and electronic materials, the job of a librarian today is becoming more challenging. Fake news has made it difficult for librarians to acquire the appropriate reading materials in accordance with user needs. The existence of false news has a important negative impact on libraries Indian libraries struggle with issues like a decline in patronage, a loss of credibility, increased confusion and workload, etc.

1. The fake news environment makes it difficult for librarians to keep users' trust. The development of the library collection must be the librarian's top priority in their daily work. A librarian should be able to spot false information and eliminate it. Reliable information should always be kept by the librarian.

2. The presence of fake news in the library's collection made a librarian's job more stressful. The availability of false information decreases library patronage. Therefore, it is a big challenge for the librarian to provide reliable information to its readers otherwise they will go away from the library. The fake information should be removed right away by the collector.

3. A library's reputation is based on its strong collection. If a user discovers any false information at the library, the reputation of the library will be completely damaged in a matter of seconds. A librarian should be careful to gather the right sources.

4. In the modern era, collection development is a demanding job at the library. Today's fake news is widely spread, so it takes more time and effort to create a collection that is free of it.

5. Fake information creates confusion among users and librarians. While choosing resources, it can be very challenging to recognize fake information.

6. It is available in  different formats due to the internet and various social media platforms. They are accessible to people quickly, which causes uncertainty in their minds. After carefully choosing, verifying, assessing, and determining the authenticity of the resources, the collecting should now proceed.

15.New role of librarian to fight against fake news:-

1.Librarians have a capacity to work as a consultant and information expert for providing a reliable information to its readers.

2.Librarians have a capacity to provide only authentic and reliable information to their user. Its users always stay away from fake information.

3.Librarians can give a proof against the fake news, fake images etc

4.Librarian can provide the knowledge of different fact checking websites between public

5. Organize different training or workshop against the fake news for the awareness of their users.

6.Develop the capacity of social media users to identify the reliable facts of fake document.

16. Future initiatives of Indian Libraries against Fake News: -

India has a variety of libraries, including public, academic, and special ones. In today's Indian society, fake news is a major issue. Educating the public on how to recognise fake news will be essential. Indian libraries should host a variety of seminars and workshops to raise the general population's level of information literacy. While teaching about fake news, practical factors should be included. The public should be made aware of fact-checking methods by libraries. On the subject of fake news, many research projects will be conducted, and their findings should be gathered and disseminated by libraries in the future. The public should be given access to information about a list of different fact-finding websites by libraries. False news has emerged as a new obstacle that libraries must overcome.

17.Conclusion :-

Fake news has grown to be a major problem for our society today. Humanity's psychological, emotional, and physical health is affected by it. The dissemination of accurate and correct knowledge in society is now the responsibility of libraries & library professionals. Its primary goal is to enable consumers to access accurate news. As a result, libraries will alter their position in this matter. Libraries should train their patrons so they have a better knowledge of this problem. Various training program, workshop, seminars etc should organise by libraries to train the users. Libraries can play a leading role to sort out the problem of fake news.

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