India has, over the past few years, seen a massive jump in the spread of what is popularly known as ‘Fake News’. Some of these, however, have had far-reaching, and in some cases, fatal, consequences. Seekingfacts.in is an initiative by fact checking website BOOM to counter the spread of fake news, and this site will serve as a resource for all sections of society, particularly educators and students, to help them spot, verify and report factually incorrect information when they encounter it, along with a tool guide and case studies that they can use for training.
It is the creation or distortion, and dissemination, of incorrect information to the public at large, often with malafide intentions. The recent incidents of lynching deaths over mass-circulated messages and videos of child kidnapping over social platforms is perhaps the most extreme effect of fake news.
But first, it is important to understand a couple of basic concepts. Most newspapers or websites or channels have two broad categories: news and opinion. While opinion refers to the publication of personal views held by individuals, the news operation is bound by certain rules.