India and misinformation

Date Posted: May 28, 2019 Last Modified: May 28, 2019
India and misinformation Photo: Karen Arnold, Pixabay

In 2018, WhatsApp began several measures as a response to alleged reports of the platform being used to spread misinformation. This report highlights the notable aspects of the spread of misinformation in India, its key themes and ways of circulation. It concludes by listing some measures to counter misinformation. 

  • The report found WhatsApp to be the most prominent platform used for spreading misinformation. According to previous reports, both the BJP and the Congress have used WhatsApp to send partisan messages.
  • A significant theme in the spread of misinformation was Islamophobia especially the so-called "love Jihad": the idea that Muslim men were trying convert Hindu women through marriage.
  • The report also finds that while anti-misinformation efforts exist, it's hard to measure their effectiveness.