Archives: Research

Real solutions for fake news?

Date Posted: June 8, 2019 Last Modified: June 8, 2019

Social media has enabled the rampant rise of "fake news", most notably witnessed during the 2016 US Presidential elections. This research evaluates the effectiveness of social media strategies used to curb the spread of fake news. It uses a pre-registered experiment to evaluate the effectives of measures taken by Facebook and other social media platforms towards countering misinformation. 

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Influence industry digital platforms, technologies and data in the General Elections

Date Posted: June 8, 2019 Last Modified: June 8, 2019

The Indian elections are a complex, diverse exercise in democracy and the need to ensure a process for a fair and impartial election is of utmost importance. In light of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal during the US elections, there's rising concern of the unclear role of the use of personal data in the context of the Indian elections. The rising role of data and technology in the elections since 2014 and the digital strategies employed in the run up to the 2019 General Elections is what the researcher aims to explore. The research draws upon news items, academic articles, policy and legislation, company websites and promotional material, campaigning and election material and voter rolls to investigate the role of data and technology companies in the Indian General Elections.

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Fake news propagate differently from real news even at early stages of spreading

Date Posted: June 4, 2019 Last Modified: June 4, 2019

This paper attempts to understand the mechanisms of fake news beyond the current focus on theoretical modelling of propagation or identification methods based on machine learning. The authors believe that it is of importance to understand the realistic mechanisms between theoretical models and black-box methods. The study tracks large databases of fake and real news from Weibo in China and Twitter in Japan and finds both social networks spread fake news distinctively from real news even at the early stages of propagation.  

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The safety of digital democracy

Date Posted: June 3, 2019 Last Modified: June 3, 2019

This study deals with the concerning challenge of digital safety in a democracy like India. It looks into how the emergence of technology in the form of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) has eradicated the earlier threats to free and fair elections by ballot box tampering, booth capturing etc. However, the use of technology has created other vulnerabilities online by citizens' falling prey to fake news, bot nets, big data and information warfare aimed at manipulating the thought process of voters. 

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Contextualising Fake News in Post-truth Era

Date Posted: June 3, 2019 Last Modified: June 3, 2019

The current debate on fake news has been heavily American and Euro-centred with a focus on post-truth politics and the tactical use of the term 'alternative facts'. However, the advent of fake news and a post-truth world has far reaching implications beyond the Western world. This paper tries to examine the impact of post-truth politics on journalism practice and training in India. While in America the issue of fake news need to be tackled with engaging with the non-elite audience and the rise of a fact-checking culture, in India the problem involves dealing with corrupt or inactive regulatory frameworks, institutions and out-dated curricula in University-based journalism programmes. 

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Making sense of media lies

Date Posted: June 3, 2019 Last Modified: June 3, 2019

The author conducted this academic research to study the distorted media realities in India and the world and to see its impact on citizen's abilities to process his/her environment. It's a telling commentary on how commonplace false information is within the news narrative in India. The research is divided into two aspects; the first looks at the attributes of fake news that's spread by conventional media and the second studies the process undertaken by fact-checking websites to debunk myths and malicious content.

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Anatomy of fake news

Date Posted: June 1, 2019 Last Modified: June 1, 2019

This research paper focuses on narratives of social media users from Achrol and Chandwaji villages in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It tries to understand the logic of social media engagement within the new media ecosystem of fake news and belief among the users. The paper argues that the dissemination of fake news becomes more problematic when it passes through filters of anonymity and identity confusion on social media. The narrative recording of selected participants were done through in-depth interviews and focus group interviews after the 2016 Indian banknote demonetisation. The logic of information consumption and dissemination should be studied within the changing business models of modern India. 

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Fake news as a two-dimensional phenomenon

Date Posted: June 1, 2019 Last Modified: June 1, 2019

This research paper conducts an extensive literature review and suggest that the term 'fake news' alludes to two dimensions of political communication: the 'fake news genre' and the 'fake news label'. While public concern is on the rise regarding the fake news phenomena, scholarly interest is heavily focused on the genre aspect of fake news. The authors connect the existing literature on fake news and present a theoretical framework to study it and formulate a research agenda. It concludes by suggesting a shift in scholarly attention to the neglected fake news label. 

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Fake news threatens a climate literate world

Date Posted: June 1, 2019 Last Modified: June 1, 2019

The 2015 Paris agreement on climate change and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development are two environmentally significant developments which provide a roadmap to achieve a low-carbon, climate-resilient world and eradicate global poverty. Given the country-specific implementation of environmental policies, many argue that building a society of climate and environmentally literate citizens is critical to success. This article looks into the deterring role of fake news when it comes to raising environmental consciousness about climate change among the public. 

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Politics of fake news

Date Posted: June 1, 2019 Last Modified: June 1, 2019

With over 200 million active users India is WhatsApp's largest market. However, the rise of the platform has also led to an increase in the dissemination of misinformation campaigns. It's end-to-end encryption makes it a favourite among people or groups looking to spread fake news for personal profit or political gain. This has led to not just panic but also incidents of brutal violence caused by the spread of hateful fake information. The paper explores what makes WhatsApp such a popular application in the Indian context, the ways in which people use it and the existing laws in India which make it difficult to trace the origin of fake news. 

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