Angkor Fake News Initiative To Find Out Measures To Check Fake News

In a world where the spread of fake news has become a major problem, the media seems to be waking up to the danger.

More than 600 media representatives from 42 countries have discussed numerous approaches to combat fake news in 16th Asia Media Summit held in Siem Reap province, Cambodia from June 12 to June 14, 2019.

The 16th edition, held in Cambodia, was themed upon ‘Media Digitalization Focusing on Developing Markets’.

What has fake news got to do with developing markets?

In the present situation , even in India, we can see how fake news has dominated both media and politics, shaping campaigns and influencing votes. However, while the conversation has been focusing on the implications it has on politics, many have failed to take into account the impact fake news has had on the wider economy. According to an article in the Finance Monthly, not only do these misleading and misinformed pieces affect business and consumer confidence in products and companies, they can also lead to uncertainty and fallout from ill-informed political decisions.

One way of curbing the spread of fake news, is to shut down the internet temporarily, so that further violence can be avoided, during times of crisis. India had the dubious distinction of being the world’s leader in internet shutdowns last year, according to Software Freedom Law Center.

Call to fight fake news

The summit was held to give a call to fight against fake news and cyber crimes eventually checking it from the devastating consequences. Cyber crime cases have increased at a rate of 300% from 2011 in India. Mob lynching and revenge porn is a common consequence of the fake news in India. Today it has become hard to differentiate between real and fake news which can be solved to an extent by media literacy to common people.

A sideline ministerial meeting was held and launched Angkor Fake News Initiative. It included strengthening regulations and ethical standards, verification process of information, media literacy initiatives, etc. Angkor Fake News Initiative is a one year long research project which will find different successful measures to check fake news.

The summit and pre- summit workshops requested the relevant authorities to make regulations against cybercrimes, fake news and also train people to raise awareness. This 16th AMS was organized by Cambodian Ministry of Information in collaboration with Asia- Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development.

Last year, 15th Asia Media Summit was held in Delhi, India with the theme of “Telling our stories- Asia and more”.

Tanya Trivedi

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