Last week saw the viral spread on Indonesia social media of the “news” that said Xiaomi smartphones could somehow spread the coronavirus.
Though logic-defying and blatantly fake, this piece of news was picked up by online news portals and made viral by many social media users. As an analyst at Maverick, the epidemiology of this fake news item is fascinating for me, as it contains lessons about its contagious pathways and what could be done in future outbreaks.
The Internet was supposed to make the world more transparent and more of us more accountable. Somewhere around when The Cluetrain Manifesto was written there was a feeling, now seeming naïve, that the Internet would help us get closer to the truth.
What we have discovered of late, however, that the opposite has happened and we have somehow been transported into a post-truth world where we are constantly being taken in by hoaxes and fake news.
In this sad state of affairs, the conventional media, whether offline or online, was supposed to be something we can rely on to sift the truth from the falsehoods. But even they are finding this task challenging.
Deliberate misunderstandings and righteous piety seems to be the order of the day in Indonesia’s poisoned and acrimonious political setting.
The latest flap involves a call to boycott travel site Traveloka and uninstall their mobile app following a walkout by detractors when newly installed Governor Anies Baswedan delivered the keynote speech at Canisius College’s 90th anniversary on November 11. Read More