Anantnag boy develops website to check fake news

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Srinagar: A 23-year-old boy, Amir Ali Shah hailing from Anantnag, south Kashmir has developed a website to check fake news, The Tribune reported.. The website can check facts and news to verify them.

Hailing from Bijbehara town of Anantnag district, Amir has invested for more than two years in the website ‘Stop Fake in Kashmir’. It is the first of its kind that has developed in the valley.

The website will be formally launched in a week or so. However, it is already up and running.

The website, says Shah, will act as a watchdog to keep tabs on unverified and fake news circulated on the social media where users can upload a link or screenshot of the news they want to verify.

“The website will give a feedback on whether the news is true or fake based on web searches,” Amir Shah said.

He stated that he back-end team of the website will also run the information through its sources on the ground and check the veracity of the news.

The idea had developed after the valley had plunged into a frenzied chaos following fake news that suggested that the polio vaccine administered to children was expired and had caused some deaths in January 2016.

“Thousands thronged hospitals that day because they were concerned about the welfare of their children. The administration had to make repeated announcements about the news being fake, but the damage had been done,” Shah says.

He says the incident made him think about a platform where people can check the veracity of a piece of information and act accordingly.

During the term when the website was being developed, there were many such incidents that created frenzy in the general public and kept him motivated to develop a platform.

“Some of the examples are the fake list of candidates selected to work in Jammu and Kashmir Bank and other news related to encounters and killings,” Shah says.

Apart from being a fact-checking website, Shah says ‘Stop Fake in Kashmir’ is also a website of general information for the public.

He has included emergency phone numbers, Facebook pages and Twitter handles in the website “in case someone wants to run through the information himself without our help”.

He has also scheduled to conduct workshops in various schools and colleges across the Kashmir valley to educate the younger lot on “news consumption” and “fact-checking”.

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