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FILE - The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

Despite tall claims made by Facebook that it is removing 10 lakh fake accounts a day in India, a survey revealed on Tuesday that one in two Indians has received fake news in the last 30 days and Facebook and WhatsApp are the platforms which are being used excessively to misinform the users.

The survey by online startup Social Media Matters and New Delhi-based Institute for Governance, Policies and Politics found that over 53 per cent of Indians received fake news related to the upcoming elections over various social media platforms.


“Nearly 62 per cent of the population believes that the upcoming elections will be influenced by the misinformation that the users are receiving,” the findings showed.

The 18-25 age group that led the conversation constituted 54 per cent of the sample population.

“Facebook and WhatsApp are the leading platforms being used to disseminate misinformation. The survey stated that 96 per cent of the sample population received fake news via WhatsApp,” the findings showed.

An estimated 900 million voters (including 9.4 per cent new voters) are battling the influence of fake news as India goes to the polls from April 11.


Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

“Since half-a-billion voters have access to Internet, fake news can have a massive impact on the elections,” said the survey.

Nearly 41 per cent stated they made efforts to authenticate a news by searching it on Google, Facebook and Twitter.

About 54 per cent suggested that they have never been affected by fake news but 43 per cent of them have known people who have been misled by the same.

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The survey titled ‘#DontBeAFool’ covered nearly 700 users including 56 per cent men, 43 per cent women and 1 per cent transgenders.

Facebook on Monday said it was working for more than 18 months now to make sure that the Indian elections were fair and free from interference, both foreign and domestic.

Facebook last week removed nearly 700 Pages, Groups and accounts in India for violating its policies on what it calls “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” and spam. (IANS)


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Rihanna was summoned from her seat to accept the honour, with the Prime Minister.

Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."

Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.

The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)


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