Fabrication of false or fake news and the circulation of it is the news on the information desk of those involved in the study of social media which is mostly responsible for its spread.

In this age of internet as the major source of news gathering, Facebook gets most of the accusation followed by other online media outlets. News stories are posted without any credibility or authenticity check on them. The traditional editorial system to go thru the news is not the norm in the social media. And that poses serious problem hurting the information literacy and the search for reality.

No doubt the social media provide the platform which was monopolized by the traditional print and electronic media. The social media is open, free, and readily available for the dissemination of news, true or false, and a viewpoint, rational or irrational.

However, the disturbing point is when a misinformation is launched it is seldom being investigated for its truthfulness especially by those readers who share its viewpoint. Generally speaking, readers are not interested if the news has passed thru “professional gatekeepers” before being allowed for distribution.

Our viewpoints are hard to change. We pick up from the internet and social media only that information and knowledge which support those viewpoints. And that consolidates our cognitive biases.

-Promod Puri

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