Extremism in the digital age

One of the challenges today is to face fake news (false information) in health due to its potential impact on people’s lives. Fake news concerning health on social media represents a risk to global health. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in February 2020 that the COVID-19 outbreak had been accompanied by a massive ‘info emic’, or an overabundance of information some of which was accurate and some of which was not which made it difficult for people to find reliable sources and trustworthy information, when they needed it. The consequences of disinformation overload are the spread of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and racism on a scale not seen in previous epidemics, such as SARS, MERS and Zika.
In these times of crisis, when entire world is busy to fight against COVID-19 we have witnessed that how this situation transformed the behavior of our young generation. Where staying at home is the only remedy to survive and to stay safe, but how it is impacting on the youth, who is only confined themselves to the use of social media. Their lives revolve around these digital gadgets and social networks. Despite going into the field and experience the real issues they just believe whatever the information they receive, spread through social accounts by their friend’s family brands and other so-called authentic web pages. We can see an extreme factor in writing their post or any topic related to any field whether it’s about politics religion or social issues.
Few days back before the spread of this Corona pandemic, we have experienced the drives of “Raise Voice” and “Me Too” on almost every social media account. Without having the complete information or the things need to be confidential as it provided the ways to other people to learn how effectively they can do any crime, we just want to take lead of sharing videos and literature on criminal activities not to get more likes but what we think our society face is and through that we are delivering our perspective to others, which is ultimately become a source for extremism.
The impact of fake news in social media is a major concern in public health, as it can reduce or increase the effectiveness of programs, campaigns and initiatives aimed at citizens’ health, awareness and well-being initiated by the government. The advancements in the methodologies related to social media analysis provide new insights to unveil how citizens share health information and the ways in which fake news influences public health.
The Novel Corona pandemic which need to be dealt at governmental level first are actually dealt by the people who even don’t know that what this virus is. Most of the cure and remedies providing through social media which is even causing health threats. In one or other way, people or especially the youth of this digital age want to be famous to take lead by introducing every time something new that how one can be safe from this coronavirus. Interestingly, those who have some political agenda they are also using by targeting a chunk of youth who proved to be useful to their motives. Youth have the ability to think out of the box so their skills have being exploiting by agencies and most of the times intently.
We are in what some have called the second information revolution. The first information revolution began with the spread of the written word through the press. Now, in this second information revolution, a digital transformation is shaping how citizens around the world interact with each other. We are facing an unprecedented global expansion in the ways we share, access and create information that is presented in many forms – one of which is social media.
Young people through the centuries have been the target of commentators keen to pin all of society’s ills on to them. Young people can, and do, commit serious crime. However, what is not at all clear is whether young offenders have any connection with tales of national decline, or that young people are worse thought of these days than they used to be.
Moral panic has always been with us. Young people have the capacity to create, contribute, and make a difference; young people are the present and not just the future; they are to be celebrated; they are part of the solution; young people have agency, the means or power to take action. This kind of rhetoric can create anxiety and suspicion towards young people, while ignoring the dynamics in wider society.
As recent headlines have shown, a growing number of individuals are encouraged to adopt extreme views and participate in violent activities through online media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Some gaming sites are used for weapons training and online dating sites for recruiting potential terrorists. Twitter is employed by extremist groups not only to communicate with youth worldwide and disseminate propaganda but also to organize and coordinate real-time attacks and then spread misinformation that can hamper the ability of law enforcement and rescue personnel to respond.
There’s still a lot of work to do. But here the question lies, do you feel like there is hope in this digital era that we can stop such tide of extremism and prevent more acts of violence and deradicalize youth.

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