NEW DELHI: Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said Sunday the menace of fake news on social media can only be controlled by self-restraint and regulation.
Speaking at a function here, the minister said that like electronic media controls itself through self-regulation, the people of the country should also self-regulate themselves and check the spread of fake news.
"People on social media has the capacity to kill any fake news which is generated on social media or on a contemporary media. Fake news is not only generated from outside the country but from inside also, just to weaken a nation which is growing gradually and we should fight it," Rathore said.
He said that the media in India follows self-regulation, firstly a media organisation regulates itself and then for entertainment through the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), for news through the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) do the self-regulation and if they are not able to do then the government's inter-ministerial committee does.
"But this is a fact, we have to learn self-regulation, also we have to learn to control and not participate in any news which is fake news," Rathore said in an event called India Dialogues held at a hotel here.
He said people and media of other nation when it comes to their country's stake, they all unite and say that they are ready to reform but would not let their country be undermined.
"It is important to understand that when we try to undermine our nation then does it not affect our economy or our culture or traditions. Media houses and on social media we should take care to ascertain how much truth is in the news and if their is no truth then it is necessary to highlight that it is fake news," he said.
Rathore who hails from the Army background and won silver medal in Olympics in 2004, said that "if Army protects us at the border, then who will protect us inside the borders. If you do not protect yourselves no one can be hired to protect you. When you encounter fake news and when you confirm yourselves that it is a fake news then you need to deal with it".
He urged the youth on social media to counter the misleading news saying, "The fake news, which you get is not completely misleading or the people who post such news do it very aptly by giving a slight twist in the headlines. And when the headline is slightly twisted, the news changes as 90 per cent of people hardly read below the headline. They read the headline and form an opinion of their own".
Rathore said, "When you hear such misleading news or see it on TV, then please come on social media and eliminate it completely or challenge it face to face as the voices of such people needs to raised."
He added that now contemporary media is also taking note of such voices and journalists in their edit meetings are being asked what is trending on social media.
"It is not a fight between two ideologies that's my point. There are several countries in the world and there are several people who do not like to see India being strengthened. There are corporate wars also on social media like to not allow a particular sector to grow in India," he said.
Rathore added that Indian Army can protect the country from any physical entry at the border but in today's time, who needs physical entry.
"Physical entry is not needed when fifth generation of warfare exists in the world. In first generation of warfare people used to fight with their hands, in second generation warfare trenches were dug and machine guns were used, in third generation warfare industries involved tanks, helicopters and mobility came into the picture, we are at present fighting the fourth generation warfare and while fighting we are going into fifth generation," he said.
The minister added that in fourth generation warfare Army does not need to fight a war but a militia fights the war, ad-hoc warriors fights.
"Someone else fights on your name this is the fourth generation fight where terrorism happens and Army does not need to cross the border. Now comes the fifth generation fight where sitting in their homes, messages reaches to even the bathrooms and efforts are being made to change the ideology, so that within the country you start fighting. The youths, who are strength of a country, turn against that country," he added.
The minister said the task becomes easy in a country which has 50 crore people on mobile and internet and around 33 crore people who are active on social media.