India has more fake news than anywhere else in the world: Microsoft Report

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Social circles became riskier in India

A survey has found India has more fake news and internet hoaxes than anywhere else in the world.

The report, by Microsoft, found 64 percent of Indians had encountered fake news, compared to the global average of 57 percent. Meanwhile, 54 percent had come across internet hoaxes, in comparison to 50 percent worldwide.

Internet hoaxes in particular have had murderous consequences in India. The Standard reported how more than 40 people were killed in the country last year amid a plague of smartphone-fuelled mob murders by ordinary citizens.

Experts said fake WhatsApp warnings about child abductors would whip up fear in communities, leading to brutal lynchings. It led to WhatsApp enforcing new rules which limited the number of times messages could be forwarded to new people.

The platform is also gearing up for this year’s national elections, the biggest in the world with 800 million eligible to vote. CNN reported how the app is using artificial intelligence to detect accounts which spread “problematic content”.

Meanwhile, the Microsoft report about online interactions in India also found 29 percent of people face “risks” from friends and family, one percent above the global average.

“Social circles became riskier in India,” the survey said, adding the jump to 29 percent has taken the country a little over the global average

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