Campus war on social media misinformation | Kolkata News

Kolkata: College and university campuses in the city are now struggling with a lot of misinformation on various social media platforms. This has hampered several internal activities within the institutions.
In some cases, anonymous individuals have created college or university Facebook pages, while in other cases, Twitter handles with institution names have disseminated information. In several cases, wrong dates were posted in different WhatsApp groups, causing confusion among the students.
Some institutes have issued public notices distancing the college or university from any information posted on a “social/virtual” media platform. They have also instructed students to only rely on the information provided on college and university websites.
“The technology has been a tremendous help to us in conducting academic and non-academic activities. Sharing information has become much easier along with the way we teach. But the technology also has its disadvantages. It is now easy to give false information, which leads to chaos,” said the principal of a Kolkata college that has faced similar problems in the recent past.
Someone had recently created a university’s Facebook page, seeking money for “paid advertising”. While paid advertising, in which companies and individuals pay an amount to popular social media addresses for advertising, is a regular feature, the site in question was not created by the university.
“The university does not charge anyone for promotions,” said a university official.
“Internet and social media are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they’ve made many complicated things easier, but on the other hand, some people can use them to create confusion,” said one principal.
Recently, a college in northern Kolkata posted a notice on its website warning of information being posted on virtual forums.
“The college is not responsible for any type of misinformation given in a virtual forum not available/mentioned on the college website,” the statement said.
Two years ago someone had pranked him by enrolling as a freshman using the identity of Bollywood actor Sunny Leone.
“In many cases we have discovered outsiders creating WhatsApp groups on behalf of the college and inviting students to join via a link. Once a significant number of students join, they start posting false information about exam dates and schedule of other activities. That creates a lot of confusion,” said the rector of another university.

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