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There is no dearth of fake news in today's age, where billions of individuals have full access to social networks and information is available to all. It is now very easy for one person to spark a rumour just by typing out some text on Whatsapp and forwarding it to a few people. The very same text then gets forwarded, possibly to millions.
One such example is this text being forwarded on Whatsapp claiming that the government is liable to give a large sum of money as compensation to the family of a person who dies in a road accident.
India is a large country and surveys have proved that an accident takes place somewhere in India every few seconds. Thousands of people die in road accidents every year. In such a situation, the government would drain its money of it kept compensating all accident victims.
The Whatsapp message says that the government is liable to pay a compensation worth ten times the average annual income of the accident victim in the last three years before his/her death. The forward also states that this claim is based on provisions under section 166 of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
What Does Section 166 of Motor Vehicles Act State?
Section 166 of Motor Vehicles Act deals with application for compensation by the family of accident victims and how it should be filed. It also states the documents required for filing the same. However, nowhere does it mention that the government would pay compensation to the victim's family.
Fact Of The Matter:
According to the law and the MV act, the owner of the vehicle which caused the accident in which the victim died or was permanently injured will be liable to pay compensation to the victim's family.
The amount of compensation to be paid is decided by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal according to preset rules and regulations.
False Rumours Being Forwarded On Social Media:
As explained, the claims being made through forwards on social media such as Whatsapp is fake. If the fake news menace has to be stopped, every user on every social media platform should be responsible for the content they forward.
Social media platforms like Whatsapp are a boon to the world as it helps in instantaneous sharing of information. However, the same platforms can also be misused to give out wrong information. If one receives sensitive content like this which is trying to give out information, it should be fact-checked before being forwarded to another person.
If everyone follows this approach to conduct on social media, fake news, false information and rumours will be cut off from the root.