Whether you use a computer, phone, or tablet, getting easy access to the internet has never been more affordable. It seems inevitable that a large number of individuals will spend more time online. It has both positive and negative effects. Fake news and misinformation are the worst side effects of unconventional digital platforms. Every person who uses the internet has a responsibility to handle the information responsibly because it is abundant there.
On its official Instagram page, the United Nations has listed five questions that everyone should ask themselves before uploading any content online in an effort to preserve a trustworthy online information environment.
The UN captioned the post as, “The spread of misinformation during a crisis makes it harder for people to understand what’s happening and make sound decisions based on facts. Not everything we see online is true. Before you share content, take time to verify facts by asking yourself some important questions:
- Who made it?
- What is the source?
- Where did it come from?
- Why are you sharing it?
- When was it published?
The UN’s agencies, like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), have been contributing to the effort to combat the dissemination of false information online. The WHO and the British government collaborated on a campaign in 2020 to dispel false information regarding COVID-19.
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The UN Human Rights Council’s Member States established a plan of action to combat disinformation in April of this year. The draft resolution presented to the Geneva forum emphasised the primary role that governments have, in countering false narratives.
It notes with concern, “the increasing and far-reaching negative impact on the enjoyment and realisation of human rights of the deliberate creation and dissemination of false or manipulated information intended to deceive and mislead audiences, either to cause harm or for personal, political, or financial gain”.