AGE OF MISINFORMATION

Humanity has seen many ages which are mostly categorized on the basis of scientific, economic and social developments of that time. Iron and bronze age named for widespread use and knowledge of these metals. Present age is the Information age as it is very evident from the modern developments in Information technology. And information has proved to be the most powerful weapon of the modern era which came out of clutches of dark ages by holding scientific information against the ignorance purported by religions .

But today we are seeing the ill effects of information too (..rather misinformation). An old adage “Half knowledge is worse than no knowledge” fits perfectly in this context .In the present world it has become very easy to peddle any propaganda in large masses very quickly because of print ,internet and television media .A large population remains ignorant to facts (..in my view fiction attracts more than facts) .

There is a very thin line between information and misinformation. A small seemingly innocuous fact when presented to a chunk of population spreads to many times bigger masses than original. In its course, this small fact gets manipulated or distorted by so many people that it becomes irrelevant to the original one .Hence if a certain set of such facts are generated frequently and then disseminated to common people then a propaganda develops and hence start influencing the people on large scale.

This propaganda then influence the voting pattern which in turn influence the governance in a democracy. To counter this propaganda machinery well informed and morally stringent people should take the responsibility to educate the ignorant masses (..not uneducated..as most of the educated class in India do remains ignorant today ).Media should be discretionary in its services, unaligned to any propaganda. But the most effective weapon against misinformation is just a single word i.e “WHY” if people somehow get the habit of using this word (..like the Europeans did during renaissance period) before any fact then propaganda machinery will collapse on its own.

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