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2020 was most volatile, chaotic for misinformation in India, says Facebook fact checker


Final yr was a most unstable and chaotic one for misinformation in India, a Facebook fact-checking companion for India stated on Thursday.

Rahul Namboori, co-founder of Fact Crescendo, pointed to some extremely charged occasions that saved fact-checkers busy in 2020.

He stated the yr began with protests in opposition to the federal government’s choice to amend the Citizenship Act and create a nationwide register of residents, adopted by the Delhi riots, Covid-19 pandemic, China’s intrusion into Indian territory, a Bollywood star’s suicide and at last with farmer protests in opposition to the brand new agriculture legal guidelines.

“After we communicate of India, by way of misinformation, this was essentially the most unstable and chaotic yr. I might take a while talking about India as a result of lots occurred,” he stated at a press briefing by Fb.

Truth Crescendo is amongst eight fact-checkers that Fb has engaged in India, making it the nation with the second most variety of third-party truth checkers globally after america.

The opposite companions are India Right this moment Group, Vishvas News (Jagran), Factly, Newsmobile, BOOM Reside, AFP and Quint who fact-check in 11 Indian languages and English.

Namboori additionally spoke of Covid-19 particular misinformation that took over Indian social media final yr.

They might broadly be categorised into 5 themes: understanding of the virus, dwelling cures to treatment it, lockdown guidelines, conspiracy theories of its origins and at last communal spin to its unfold in India, he stated.

“There was a communal spin to the illness. In India, Covid-19 discovered a faith as a result of one group was referred to as a brilliant spreader of the illness. There have been a variety of communal claims that surfaced on social media,” he stated, referring to a Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi, which was termed by many as a super-spreader occasion.

Between March and October, 12 million items of Covid-19 misinformation content material had been faraway from the platform globally, he stated.

In the course of the briefing, Alice Budisatrijo from Fb’s Product Coverage workforce shared a three-point technique to handle misinformation – scale back, take away and inform.

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