News By/Courtesy: Abhipsha Datta | 01 Apr 2021 17:13pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The issue of “fake news” and misinformation shows up to be a significant issue in India.
  • WhatsApp, India's most prevalent messaging platform, has ended up as a vehicle of misinformation and propaganda ahead of most elections.
  • Even in 2021 as the states go to polls, the problem of fake news persists.

The issue of “fake news” and misinformation shows up to be a significant issue in India. In any case, unlike the United States, where the focus is for the most part on foreign-based disinformation campaigns, India has more of a domestic misinformation issue including major political parties and related “cyber-army” groups. In recent times, the disintegration of belief in public institutions and traditional media sources has been taking place parallel. Recent improvements in media consumption have driven an expansion of politically charged online misinformation, therefore, it isn't shocking that many have been questioning whether the spread of fake news has influenced the results of major events in the country, especially elections. WhatsApp, India's most prevalent messaging platform, has ended up as a vehicle of misinformation and propaganda ahead of most elections. The Facebook-owned app has declared necessary measures to battle this but specialists say that it is not enough to check fake news and the issue is becoming overwhelming. Different reports have recommended that fake news is utilized to form false perceptions about political candidates or particular groups of individuals controlling the choices of the voters. In 2019, the Election Commission of India met with representatives of top social media companies, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, TikTok, and Twitter, to discuss the rampant misuse of these platforms and how the abuse of social media platforms during national elections can be avoided. This has at times led to social unrest and violence. Like elsewhere in the world, social media in India plays a major role in influencing voters. Fake news was exceptionally predominant during the 2019 Indian general election. Misinformation was predominant at all levels of society during the build-up to the election. Few called the elections that year "India's first WhatsApp elections", with WhatsApp being utilized by numerous as a device of propaganda. Parties used these platforms and misinformation as weapons to get a favorable outcome in the elections. Facebook went on to evacuate about one million accounts a day, counting ones spreading misinformation and fake news right before the elections. The sheer number of online users has transformed political campaigning in India, with political parties and their associates of all stripes producing tremendous sums of fake news. There's no specific provision in Indian law that particularly deals with fake news. Be that as it may, there are a few offenses in India’s Penal Code that criminalize certain forms of speech that may be significant to fake news and may apply to online or social media content, including the wrongdoings of sedition and promoting animosity between different groups. Despite the continuous efforts of spreading awareness against the widespread use of social media to facilitate fake news, the issue keeps getting bigger. Even in 2021 as the states go to polls, the problem of fake news persists. 

 

This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being. Further, despite all efforts that have been made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published, 5thVoice.News shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to human error or otherwise.

Section Editor: 5thVoice.News | 01 Apr 2021 23:55pm IST


Tags : #Fakenews #Elections

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