Social media and instant messengers have unleashed a can of worms by exposing us to something a lot darker than we could have imagined. Join us, as we take you through the sinister side of information technology and the effects it can have on us.
Here is an excerpt from the episode:
“Information technology came into our lives, towards the end of the 20th century. It was hailed as the ultimate liberator for humanity, by bringing to us all the knowledge and information we needed.
But now, in less than two decades into the 21st century, the age of information is being marked by rampant misinformation, as people are increasingly unable to tell what is factually correct, what’s complete fiction.. and all that comes in between.
Through this show, we would like you all to take a walk with us, as we introduce to you the dark, unpredictable and sometimes delightful world of fact checking.
You’re listening to That Fact Check Show, and I am your host Archis.
In our very first episode, we shall be discussing a topic that is definitely disquieting but is nevertheless important for everyone of us with a smartphone and an internet connection. This is an episode about the darkness on our screens.
In 2018, two men were travelling through the North-Eastern state of Assam. They stopped at a village to ask for directions. However, instead of helping them out, the villagers gathered around them and beat them to death.
Apparently, rumours of child kidnappings had caused a panic in the village just before these men had arrived. The villagers mistook them for kidnappers and reacted violently. As they lynched the two young men, they firmly believed that they were protecting their children.
What shocked me the most about this incident, was that the rumours of child kidnappers were completely false – and the culprit responsible for spreading it – was WhatsApp.
We now know that the main cause of this tragic incident was a doctored video of a Pakistani public safety commercial regarding child kidnappers, pretending to depict a real act of kidnapping in India. To make matters worse, it was shared with an extremely disturbing and graphic video showing the aftermath of one of Brazil’s most violent prison riots – claiming that the video exposed an organ harvesting ring in India, that was related to the false kidnapping.
People all across the country fell for it, leading to a series of violent mob lynchings on innocent people.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.”