In an article yesterday, it was reported that The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will open an investigation paper if there are any individuals who spread fake news objecting to the Covid-19 vaccine shot.
According to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, the investigation paper would be opened if police received a report on the issue. The case would be investigated under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988.
Before we get deeper, why don’t we go through what was meant with fake news first? What could possibly be classified as fake news?
First of all, you must know that there are two kinds of fake news. There are stories that aren’t true at all and stories that are partially true but not legitimate enough to be referenced. The first one usually intended to make people believe in something false and the latter could be to convince people for reasons or simply a mistake.
In October 1938, Orson Welles unintentionally has convinced the audience of the radio drama “War of The Worlds” that the world is under alien attack. His broadcast has caused a massive panic attack and even led him to tell the reporters that it was just a radio play and no one was hurt.
Recently, we have been notified with the arrival of the vaccines for Covid-19 and on the last two days, our Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin got a jab for it, the possibility for any fake news to appear is high. Even during the lockdown last year, we saw many fake news stories arise and it was worrying.
Here are several ways you can apply to trace fake news. Feel free to share these tips to your older family members as they tend to be exposed to these fake news.
Firstly, check the source. If it’s through the website, check the website if it’s a legitimate source for factual information and news. As an example, try to find a website with at least a ‘.com’ at the end of it. Also, if there is a spelling error in the company’s name, most probably the company is a fraud.
If it’s medical news (Covid-19), double-checks with the World Health Organization (WHO) for an example.
Next, check if any supporting sources are reporting the same issue. If the facts didn’t contradict each other, then it can be considered as legitimate and can be digested. It is also to check if the source you received earlier might be biased towards certain beliefs.
Last but not least, ask the experts of the specific field for a fact-checking. This could have also applied for the website as well. Saying that you found news that has been shared all around the social media, you can check with any website that is specialising on the issue mattered.
As a conclusion, we need to be smart and be more cautious with any news before we decide to share it in groups or to someone else. False information may lead to unwanted repercussions and worse, the words might have spread.
Hopefully these tips given can help you in checking facts more correctly.