October 29, 2020

Are We Getting False Survival Warnings From Fake News?

You may have heard about those metered strikes that will never happen. Or the fact that several islands in the world can only exist for any decade or so before being immersed by global warming, but they still exist half a century later. While global warming may be a threat, are we all getting fake survival warnings to organize ourselves when there is still time?

All major issues concerning individual countries like the 2016 Presidential election within US and the Brexit vote in britain or those issues that are or worry to the whole world like the problem of global warming and climate change are threatened by fake news which can lead to catastrophic results. While the subject of fake information has gained a wider audience following the 2016 US election, false news has still had a worrisome impact on us.
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Fake news is just not a recent phenomenon and has existed for a long time but its impact has become more widespread with the spread of the internet and social media. The fake news trend has been aided by the rapid expansion of the digital medium and its capacity to provide any message across the globe at lightening fast speed. It leads to a situation where such fake news can’t be checked, verified or challenged prior to it is made available worldwide.

Scientists grapple with fake news. Scientists learning climate change are grappling with this particular phenomenon of fake news that is able to sow the seeds associated with confusion in the minds of both the general public whose support is necessary in order to implement changes to save the environment and also the decision makers who have the responsibility of creating decisions which even if painful are essential to stop further environmental damage.

In such a scenario it is necessary that scientists step-up their efforts for wider dissemination of correct and factual data so that people become more science well written and can appreciate facts as they are and are not swayed by misinformation campaigns and deliberately leaked fake news. World bodies like the United Nations believes that the 2030 sustainable development goals can be met only if scientific literature and discoveries get a wider audience.

The misinformation campaigns plus deliberately leaked fake news and controversies have led to a situation exactly where polls both in the US and UNITED KINGDOM show that even though a large most of scientists agree to the fact that climate modify phenomenon of the modern era is essentially fueled by human activities, the overall populace is not aware of such unanimity on the issue while many believe that it is still an unsettled issue. This kind of large scale denial of weather change and its causes is an immediate result of the failure of the scientific community to effectively challenge fake news about the issue.

A change of habits is needed. In their quest of wider dissemination of correct plus factual data, scientists must alter their long ingrained habit associated with sharing information among the scientific neighborhood as their prime objective and rather must develop the habit of sharing their information not only with the technological community but with the general public also.

In their pursuit of disseminating scientific information researchers must use the help of latest technical tools so that they are able to develop effective means of two-way communication with the public. The new interdisciplinary field of translational ecology can help scientists work towards changing environmental research into public policy.

Turning the current scenario into one where society understands and appreciates their point of view and is able to ascertain and understand the facts about climate change is important if environmental issues are to get widespread support across the world. One of the ways through which we can support the growth of scientific temper is to know what false news is and trying to stop it from spreading.

What is fake news? Since ancient times, rulers have indulged in slanting and planting news to serve their interests. But providing a slant to a news to suit one’s beliefs or ideology can not be called fake news. Fake information can be described as a completely fabricated story without any basis that has been floated by vested interests to serve their own objective.

We are also to blame! Today with all the advent of the internet everyone from an individual to media to government possess a share in the spread of artificial news even though their motives to do this may vary from increasing political clout, to achieving financial goals or any type of personal agenda. But how to understand whether the news is genuine or fake?

In sifting for artificial news, look at the origins of the news. If it is carried by a legitimate way to obtain news chances are that it will not be fake but if it has originated from sources you have not really heard of or are known to be of dubious nature then you must take such news with a pinch associated with salt and verify it from a known authentic source before you start believing it. The most obvious solution for checking the spread of fake news is usually human intervention. Technology by itself cannot sift and segregate fake news. Realizing this dimension Facebook offers started such a practice and has enrolled International Fact Checking Network to appear into that news that users have flagged as deliberate fakes.

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