Fake news, misinformation and fraud are the biggest challenges of the digital world. With the pandemic everyone has been forced to learn digital tools, however, not everyone has received the training to use digital devices and the internet in a safe manner. This can on some occasions prove to be more dangerous than being unconnected altogether. Identifying and verifying fake news and misinformation is a big ask from someone who hasn’t received training in the field. So there are thousands of people who are spreading misinformation and fake news unknowingly, often through WhatsApp forwards.
Another problem that comes in the hyperconnected world is that of fraud. While most people are online, very few know the risks that come with online and digital transactions. This edition of Digital Footprints has compiled many cases where people in rural parts of the country were duped and money was withdrawn from their accounts or they were cheated while applying for government schemes.
DEF’s SoochnaPreneurs (Information Entrepreneurs) across 1,000 locations in India are working on a daily basis to fight misinformation and fraud at the village level. With continued training over the years they have all become fact-checkers who stop the spread of misinformation and make the community more informed and aware of verified and vital information.