With only 30 percent of the population of India being digitally enabled in this technological world, the chances of irresponsible use of the social media and the rapid flow of fake news and rumours are very high.
"It is a dangerous trend as 70 percent of our population are not digitally enabled. With no prior engagement with technology, the sudden and easy access to smartphones and internet is indeed a worrying trend," resource person from the Digital Empowerment Foundation, Ravi Guria said while speaking to TNT-The Northeast Todayon the sideline of the one-day training programme on social media and fake news organised by the Meghalaya Police in Shillong here on Tuesday.
He said that due to lack of information and awareness, the 70 percent of the 1.3 billion population don't know what to do with the content made available to them, hence giving rise to the the problem of misinformation.
He also stated that while a year back, the number of Whatsapp users in India was 200 million, this year, the number suddenly jumped to 500 which is more than a 100 percent surge even as he pointed out while the number of users is going up, the understanding of technology, however, is not growing rapidly.
The digital expert informed that fake news comes in three different forms — misinformation, disinformation and mal-information; misinformation is when a person is not aware or accidentally and lack of understanding; disinformation is when people or organisations with agendas share the piece of false information with an intention to influence people negatively; and mal-information is that piece of information which is floated out of context.