Rising nationalism adds to India's fake news problem
The BBC recently conducted a nation-wide survey in India regarding the spread of fake news by ordinary citizens without verifying the factual correctness of the content. The results of the survey indicated that the flow of fake news in India is as much a social as a technological problem. The BBC also revealed the different motivations behind people sharing such links on WhatsApp, Twitter and other social media platforms: some people consider it as a national duty, others feel the urge to verify the news within their social network, and others simply want to express their socio-political identity.
The survey also showed that right-wing networks in India are much more organised than left-wing networks, thereby pushing nationalistic fake news further. Moreover, the survey showed that some of the people felt that facts were less important to them than their emotional desire to showcase their national identity.
This chart shows a breakdown of fake news messages shred on Whatsapp in India in 2018, by topic.