Survey results suggest that India has more fake news than anywhere in the world hence the people fall most to the hoaxes motivated by extreme nationalist sentiments. As per the report by Microsoft, almost 64 per cent of Indians have encountered fake news, compared to the global average of 57 per cent.
However, 54 per cent of the people have come across internet hoaxes, which is higher in comparison to 50 per cent worldwide. Internet hoaxes, however, have also been a cause of inciting violence in India. The report also revealed that more than 40 people were murdered last year due to the fake news, being the reason for smartphone-fuelled mob murders by ordinary citizens.
It also stated that fake news regarding child abductors, floated via WhatsApp, became the reason for whipping fear in the community and serving as a motivation for mob lynchings.
The same trend is evident just when elections are around the corner in India. BBC also supported the findings earlier, saying it is a popular tool in India because actual facts are lesser important to people than the emotional desire to bolster national identity.
”A rising tide of nationalism in India is driving ordinary citizens to spread fake news” – said the BBC research.
BBC also revealed that nationalism is the main driving source behind spreading fake news. Social media analysis also suggested that the right-wing networks are much more organised than on the left. It pushed the nationalistic fake stories further. The BBC report also saw an overlap of fake news sources of Twitter and the support networks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
What are your thoughts on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.