NEW DELHI: An analysis at the University of Oxford has found the SP and the BSP are the least sensational, extremist or conspiratorial among the main parties in their election-related social media content.
Use of social media platforms by all the parties is at its peak during the polls, but these are also being used to spread sensational and fake news.
The analysis, based on the data between February 14 and April 10, suggests over a quarter of the BJP’s content and a fifth of the Congress’s is ‘junk news’. The SP and BSP share ‘very little sensational, extremist, or conspiratorial content’.
The analysis looked at WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook posts during the period. It also looked at images used by the parties in this period. A third of the images uploaded by the BJP and a quarter of the Congress’ images were catalogued as ‘divisive and conspiratorial’. Only a tenth of the SP’s and BSP’s images fell in that category.
“The proportion of polarising political news and information in circulation over social media in India is worse than all of the other country case studies we have analysed, except the US Presidential election in 2016,” the study concludes.