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One out of Every Two Indians Receive Fake News Via Facebook, WhatsApp

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

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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.

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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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Wikipedia Co-founder Launching Social Media Website “WT: Social”

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social-media website named "WT: Social" which will compete Facebook and Twitter

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Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social media website names "WT: Social". Pixabay

Intended to get right what Facebook and Twitter have so far been getting wrong, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is launching a social-media website named “WT: Social” which will compete with both the social media platforms.

Instead of going for an ad-funded model, Wales aims to finance it through donations, just like Wikipedia.

Like those platforms, WT:Social will let users share articles. But WT:Social will be funded by donations, rather than advertising.

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Like other social media platforms,Wikipedia’s WT:Social will let users share articles. Pixabay

“The business model of social media companies, of pure advertising, is problematic. It turns out the huge winner is low-quality content,” Wales was quoted as saying by Financial Times, according to an Engadget report.

It started as Wikitribune — a site that published original news stories with the community fact-checking and sub-editing articles. The venture never gained much traction, so Wales is moving it to the new platform with a more social networking focus.

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WT:Social will be free to join, but at the moment, you either have to sign up for a waitlist, donate or invite friends. Just a month old, it already has 50,000 users, the Engadget report added. (IANS)