Ensure truth prevails in news reports

Although comments by United States President Barack Obama on bogus news stories were made in the light of the recent presidential election there ("Obama hits out at spread of fake news"; Nov 19), they are relevant to all nations, given the widespread use of social media as well as the speed with which people can access news from mainstream online media.

Imagine the seriousness of a false or misleading report, for instance, about a racial incident. It can trigger a riot very quickly with serious consequences and sometimes irreparable damage.

There must be responsible reporting of news in the mainstream media, but it also behoves those on social media platforms to ensure that they do not impulsively communicate what is not true.

Careless reports and superficial reporting can cause damage. Let us take this issue seriously and ensure that truth prevails.

Quek Koh Choon (Dr)