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Social Media Responsibility - Actress - Gul Panag dies following Jet-Ski crash in Turks and Caicos Islands
Social media websites are increasingly becoming source of news for the general media.
I, for one, encourage using social media albeit carefully. Before you share any information about anyone on a social media website make sure you double check the information.
Problem with Social Media sites
I came across a tweet made by someone on Twitter about Gul Panag’s (a bollywood actress) death following a jet-ski accident in Turks and Caicos Islands. I’m not a huge fan but I do respect Gul Panag as a actress and her stand on woman’s rights. Therefore I was taken aback. The tweet has been since deleted. However, fortunately I had taken a screeshot of the tweet.
I checked Twitter and searched on Google but could not find any news. Then I checked the website where the news was reported. I also checked Gul Panag’s twitter account and was relieved when I could not find anything that confirmed the rumor.
Turns out that the website is part of a group of websites one of which allows you to generate fake rumor generator by using the fakeawish site you can generate any number of rumors like this one about Adam Sandler’s death.
To trap the innocent susceptible Internet newbies once the fake news is generated it is reported on a website called mediafetcher.com and not fakeawish as having mediafetcher in the URL gives an impression that the website is a genuine one.
Lesson: Never take anything reported in social media as news (or in fact any other source) on face value and confirm the news by using Google news search before reporting such news otherwise this can have serious implications.
Search Engines need to seriously think about not indexing websites like fakeanews.com and mediafetcher.com and the news published as a prank can turn dangerous. Search Engines do give the ability to webmasters to let the search engines know if content on a website should not show up in search results. This instruction is not there on both the websites which is not appropriate. In fact Google has assigned a PR (page rank, which is a measure of the authority of a website) of 4 to fakeanews and a PR of 3 to mediafetcher.com thereby indicating that the websites are creditable.
What are your thoughts on this? Please share them by adding comments
A fun site to waste (?) your time online.
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