The 14th GE campaign is going to end soon and the aggressiveness has reached its peak. There is also a huge volume of fake news spreading on the social media showering the voters in waves after waves until they were confused on what they had seen or heard. At this juncture all voters must be rational, think deeply and should not be easily influenced by fake news.
509 or the 9th of May is the polling day and at present the battle for support is ruthlessly rushing towards achieving their goals. All political parties and their candidates are grabbing their last opportunity to go all out full force to fish for support for their respective parties. As a result we can find a large volume of fake news generated to confuse the voters at this critical period.
The fake news is usually outdated news but peppered with new and sensational contents. They were recycled and circulated to attract attention and to create unpleasant sentiments. Recently a video clip in the social media went viral showing officers from the Election Commission relocating 2 ballot boxes of votes to the police station last Saturday. This was because they discovered the Opposition was leading in the vote count with the 2 ballot boxes. Actually it was fake news which was spread during the 2013 general election and had no link whatsoever with the 14th GE. As a matter of fact army and police personnel who have to vote earlier will have their ballot boxes opened and votes counted only on the 9th of May. This is truly fake news.
Another video clip showing Tun Mahathir who was prevented from speaking at the Putra World Trade Center on the 6th of May by the police is also fake news. In fact the scene shown was during the dialogue session entitled “Nothing to hide” which was held on the 5th of May 2015.
Besides reinventing old news with new fake news, there are also fresh incidents of spinning fake news. Yesterday it was spread wildly on the social media the caretaker Prime Minister Najib would announce Hishammuddin to take over his premiership on the eve of the general election. A member of the UMNO supreme council Ahmad Sabri denied such nonsense.
Spinning fake news coated with strong political motives attacking their rivals and confusing the voters is commonly done during a general election. Hence voters must be intelligent enough to see through their tactics and be able to filter fake news.
In the heated atmosphere of politics, the voters will be carried away. So at this time the voters must be calm, rational in analyzing the huge volume of posts in the social media which includes fake news. Don’t believe in any news that is not verified. If you blindly accept the news, you are trapped and have become a pawn of the politician. When sharing posts from the social media, one must ensure the post is reliable and don’t simply repost the news. You are encouraging the spread of fake news.
Election campaign is a season for fake news to grow, fester and spread whilst logic and calm is the antidote for such negative trend. Hopefully the voters are able to filter the information received logically based on their rational judgment. Cast your vote wisely for our society and country.