Social media is a world of hot & flash news on anything and everything under the sky.
However, to what extent you are aware that fake news spread in the digital world in the fraction of a second?
Are you checking the source of the information that you share in social media either in your personal page or business pages?
Well, the majority of us don’t!
We just simply post or share a viral news or any informative content without even taking a while to think about whether they are true information with reliable sources or will it bring out any negative consequences for your business or personal brand.
The rapid increase of fake news in the social media is certainly an alarming issue as its effects have amplified with the increasing usage of social media. Misinformation posted or shared in social media will give rise to false accusations of people; stock market panics and diminishes your personal or business brand value.
For instance, any fake information you posted without relevant check as a part of your digital marketing campaign are subjected to wide consumer attention across the various digital platforms.
Your content is reached to wide audiences through word of mouth marketing and as shared posts. In case fake news has been shared by you, it can instantly break down the brand image and your loyal customer relationships you have built through several years of dedicated marketing efforts, offering of high quality products and services.
Hence, it is vital to understand that you need to always check the right source of any information. Otherwise, you may end up in prison or hefty files.
In response to this rapid dissemination of fake news, regulations in several countries around the world have come up with new legislation to identify and combat fake news in social media. Many European and Asian countries like Malaysia, Germany, France, and Singapore etc. have come up with anti-fake news laws recently.
A recent article in Times of India shed light on this issue and gave more insights on how the below mentioned countries are tackling this crisis of online rumours and fake videos & contents.
Source: (The Times of India Edition,26.09.19)
Malaysia was among the first countries to pass an anti-fake news law last year spreading fake news draws a fine of Malaysian ringgits (Rs.85 lakh) or up to six years in jail.
In April the council of the European Union passed directives to change copyright laws and hold online platforms responsible for infringements by its users the law has been hailed as a victory for protecting intellectual property that is frequently stolen and misused online the law applies to social media internet service providers and search engines.
A draft law proposes jail term of up to years for those who spread online falsehoods to harm public interest social media sites face fines of up to S$1 million (Rs 5 crore) for failing to act against such content individuals can also be asked to alter or remove their posts and could be fined up to S$20,000 (Rs.10 lakh) and jailed up to months if they fail to comply.
Germany’s NetzDG applies to companies with more than two million registered users in the country, the law requires companies to review complaints about content and remove anything illegal within 24 hours. Individuals face fines of up to €5 m (Rs 40 crore) and corporations up to € 50m (Rs.400 crore) for failing to comply.
A law passed earlier this year introduced penalties up to 10% of a company’s turnover and up to three years in prison for tech executives for failing to remove social media content depicting terrorism murder rape or other serious crimes failure to comply draws fines of up to A$168,000 (Rs.80 lakh) for individuals or A$840,000 (Rs.4 crore) for corporations.
Last October, France passed two anti-fake news laws following allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election the laws allow candidates and political parties to seek court injunctions to prevent the publication of false information and give the French broadcasting authority take any network spreading misinformation off the air.
A March 2019 law punishes individuals and companies for spreading fake news and information that “disrespects” the state publication found to spread fake news face fines of up to 15 million rubles (Rs.16 lakh). Insulting state symbols and authorities draw fines of up to 300,000 rubles (Rs.3 lakh) and 15 days in jail for repeat offences.
China already blocks most social media sites and internet services like Twitter Google and Whatsapp. The country has thousands of cyber police personnel who monitor social media and screen content the government considers politically sensitive the government outright censors certain content such as references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident.
So, what is the alternative to deal with this problem in India where we don’t have government regulation for fake posts?
The most powerful tool to stop the rapid spread of fake news is Self-Regulation by digital media companies. In this ever changing digital media landscape, every individual and company needs to recognise the accuracy of information and verify its source before posting, sharing or consuming the information in these social media platforms.
Your digital campaigns should create value to the people through your content distribution strategies.
When your intention is to drive enormous traffic to your landing pages or websites through informative and value added content posted on social media, you need to take care that the content should not misguide them about your offerings of valuable products or services.
In a nutshell, the reliability and source of your content determines your business transparency and it builds long lasting trust and loyalty among your customers.
This in turn, brings increased brand value, long term customer relationships and higher revenue and sales conversions. It takes just a moment for your business empire to fall down with a non-reliable fake news posted or shared in social media by your business.
So, now you are aware about the alarming impact that fake news can bring to your business growth and success!
Stay Tuned for more updates regarding Social Media Regulations by Indian Government.
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