Did you verify that news is a fact and not a rumor?

Social networks helped to collect money and relief materials for charity. The smartphone was leveraged across volunteers in Bangalore to collect and identify the right set of relief materials needed in Chennai. People interested to donate reached volunteers using smart phone. With the advent of internet, WhatsApp  via mobile, everyone is connected to the free flow of information. This gives the feeling that smartphone is smart.

Today information is available in few clicks and i observe  that”You do not need to look out for information and the information finds you. ”

Across Chennai rains, people were sharing the need for help via social networks. Few people confirmed the source before sharing on the network.  False News like  “Porur lake is opened and going to flood” creates panic.  One of AID volunteer at ground shared” A genuine need was shared and was also verified. No help reached the person in need. A life was lost at the end without timely help”.  While this message has been shared by large number of people, may be everyone assumed that some one else would reach the person in need to offer support.

  • How do we identify that a particular new is rumor or a fact? What happens when people act based on rumor that can be disastrous?
  • When we see a message asking for help,  Do we check whether some one has offered help already or not? May be we could use phone?
  • When we share message that needs help, do we take responsibility to verify after some time whether real help has reached the needy?

Human nature has desire to feel important. We end up doing things that would satisfy our desire to be important.  The way we gain importance has changed over years and the urge persists.

Is it that one feels important  when shares the news first in social network? I am perfectly fine when the news is confirmed to be authentic and true fact.  We commit a great sin when we share without confirming the source or reality.

When everyone says the same things, there starts a  blind faith or belief that it must be true and also comes a claim that otherwise many people would not say the same thing. We fail to verify the information in reality and the onus of verifying the information get shifted to others.

Remember that information that you receive on your smart phone need not always be ‘smart’ after all.  Please avoid sensational media or new and search for validity of suspicious information. Try to trace the original source of a message before sharing message- news or rumor.