Nationalism fuelling fake news, says BBC research

The Hyderabad leg of the Beyond Fake News campaign was held at IIIT-Hyderabad on Monday.

Published: 13th November 2018 09:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2018 09:45 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: “A rising tide of nationalism is driving ordinary citizens in India to spread fake news,” claimed a BBC research report. The Hyderabad leg of the Beyond Fake News campaign was held at IIIT-Hyderabad on Monday. Panellists attributed the rise in fake news to lack of trust among people in mainstream media.  

“People don’t trust mainstream media sources like newspapers and TV nowadays,” said Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, founder of Factly, a data journalism portal. “So, they tend to believe any kind of news circulated on social media, without verifying the credibility or sources of such information.” Dubuddu claimed that people below 20 years of age and over 50 are more likely to fall victim to fake news. 

“There should be swifter response from technology companies. They need to invest in busting fake news without thinking about reaping in profits. In the long run, the profits will come in by itself,” he said. Central Information Commissioner Madhabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu claimed that fake news had higher reach compared to truth. 

The research report highlighted the modus operandi of fake news: “...people were reluctant to share messages that might incite violence, but felt duty-bound to share nationalistic messages.” Fake news stories about “India’s progress, Hindu power and revival of lost Hindu glory” are being shared without any fact-checking, noted the report. “By sharing these fake messages, people feel they are into nation-building.”

The report also suggested that there was a overlap between fake news and pro-Prime Minister Narendra Modi political activity in the country. “Using big data analysis of networks within Twitter, the BBC has found that in India, left wing sources of fake news are only loosely aligned, if at all, whilst the right wing sources of fake news are very closely linked together,” the report said.


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  • Jagadeesan

    Now BBC wants to be split into us into left wing & right wing; for years they were successful in spreading wrong news through leftists
    4 years ago reply
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