Fake news rampant with 1 in 2 Indians receiving it via WhatsApp, Facebook

Date Published: April 12, 2019 Last Updated: April 12, 2019

Every one in two Indians have received fake news in the past 30 days, a study has claimed. Although Facebook and WhatsApp have been fighting against fake news and misinformation, by inducing transparency in political ads, getting a set of fact-checkers, and commissioning tools to weed out false information, the circulation of misinformation is still rampant. WhatsApp said it had made significant product changes and collaborated with partners across civil society to address the consequences of

  • Spread of misinformation and fake news has accelerated ahead of general elections.
  • The Indian government has already asked social media platforms to take stringent measures against fake news and warned that any spread of misinformation to influence the electorate would not be tolerated.
  • According to the survey by Social Media Matters and the Institute for Governance, Policies and Politics (IGPP), 53 per cent of the respondents claimed to have received fake news over various social media platforms "due to the upcoming elections,"
  • "It has been noted that Facebook and WhatsApp are the platforms which are being used excessively to misinform users.
  • Since about half-a-billion voters have access to Internet, fake news can have a massive impact on the elections.
  • The survey found that 62 per cent of respondents felt that the elections would be "influenced" by the misinformation that the users had been receiving. "The age group that has led the conversation form 54 per cent of the sample population and are between 18-25 years of age. The survey has been undertaken by 56 per cent males, 43 per cent females and 1 per cent by transgenders," the survey report claimed.