Conspiracy theories,Covid 19 ,Social media and impacts on the Pakistan

Letter to The Editor,

Conspiracy theories have been around for thousands of years. They attract audience because they are simple and offer a single and straightforward explanations to countless complicated processes(Yuval Noah). People don’t bother to understand the complexities of issues while relaying on ready-made answers. Social media, in this regard, is being used as a comfortable tool to spread fake news, propaganda, and conspiracy theories around the world.Keeping in view all these developments, World Health Organization has issued warning about an “infodemic”, a wave of fake news and misinformation about covid-19. With massive digitalization and use of social media as tool to fight pandemic, chances of its manipulation has increased manifold. This infodemic can jeopardize national and international efforts to contain the pandemic. Public interest will be shattered from vaccine, institutions and scientific finding. This will also motivate those who consider Covid-19 a conspiracy theory, to float the government’s instructions and SOPs to curtail virus’s spread. # IMPACTS ON PAKISTAN. Pakistan is experiencing second covid-19 wave after combating first one. Everyone is hopeful after encouraging vaccine results. But conspiracy theories and misinformation has already gained its grounds in our social structure. These theories have already impacted our efforts to eradicate Polio from country. This time again, conspiracy theorists are out in fields, finding naive and gullible audience as their market. Market is open and easily accessible owing to combination of Social media and illiteracy. Things are going to get ugly this time again because people are becoming victim of this propaganda at an alarming rate. So Pakistan and its people have to deal with twin pandemics and fight is tough because we are living in a post-truth era where credible sources of information are rare.

Ali Faraz, Islamabad