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People Feel Exposed to Fake News on Social Media, Says Study

The researchers said that when disinformation campaigns challenge access to reliable information, citizens are left to make “uninformed choices”

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York. VOA

A new study has revealed that the more people feel they are exposed to fake news on social media on a regular basis, the more they are likely to distrust the media in general.

The study’s findings, published in the African Journalism Studies journal, revealed that places such as sub-Saharan Africa, where disinformation campaigns have been used recently to influence electoral campaigns, perceive that exposure to disinformation is high and trust in national media and social media is low.

For the study, the researchers included nearly 1,900 people in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa who are highly educated, live in urban, middle class areas and have access to social media.

As many as 90 per cent of Kenyans, 93 per cent of Nigerians and 76 per cent of South Africans believe that they are exposed to false news about politics on a fairly regular basis, the study found.

In a 2016 Pew Research Center study which sampled just over 1,000 Americans, 71 per cent of respondents said they often or sometimes saw fake political news.

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FILE – Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to logos of social media apps Signal, Whatsapp and Telegram projected on a screen in this picture illustration. VOA

“We found that people in sub-Saharan Africa particularly distrust information on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp because that’s where they find ‘fake news’ most often,” said Dani Madrid-Morales, Assistant Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

“Governments are already using this as an excuse to put restrictions on media by saying that too much freedom of speech on these American platforms poses a ‘danger’ to national security,” he added.

When it comes to sharing a political story that study participants knew at the time was made up, 29 per cent of Kenyans, 18 per cent of Nigerians and 25 per cent of South Africans answered “yes.”

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These numbers are higher than the US where 14 per cent of participants answered “yes” in the Pew study.

The researchers said that when disinformation campaigns challenge access to reliable information, citizens are left to make “uninformed choices”. (IANS)

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Twitter Overflows with Praiseworthy Posts as Milkha Singh Turns 90

A user posted a 1958 picture of Milkha Singh defeating Pakistan athlete Abdul Khaliq in the 200 metre race to win gold in Tokyo Asian Games

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Twitter
One fan mentioned on Twitter that the Flying Sikh was the "Godfather of Indian Athletics". Pixabay

Twitter users heaped effusive praise as legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh turned 90 on Wednesday, with many posting throwback pictures depicting his sporting achievements and quotes.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wrote on his Twitter handle @capt_amarinder: “Happy birthday to the pride of Punjab & India, #MilkhaSingh Ji, who turns 90 today. Wish you the best of happiness & health, sir. “Urge my young friends to take inspiration from the #FlyingSikh and indulge in sports & fitness activities for a healthier life.”

Team India’s Twitter handle @WeAreTeamIndia wrote: “Sending out warm wishes to the legendary sporting icon, a serial sprint winner of his times and the one who is most rightfully known as the #FlyingSikh.”

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi wrote: “Wishing a very happy 90th birthday to #FlyingSikh, inspiration of Millions PadmaShri #MilkhaSingh ji.”

A user posted a 1958 picture of Milkha Singh defeating Pakistan athlete Abdul Khaliq in the 200 metre race to win gold in Tokyo Asian Games. He said: “In 1958 Abdul Khaliq was the fastest man in Asia. Happy Birthday Milkha Singh”.

Twitter
Twitter users heaped effusive praise as legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh turned 90 on Wednesday, with many posting throwback pictures depicting his sporting achievements and quotes. Wikimedia Commons

Another user listed out sporting achievements of the Padma Shri awardee.

“Independent India’s first athletes to win gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Wishing you a very happy birthday Milkha Singh”, wrote another user.

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One user said: “Milkha Singh (age 90 yrs now) don’t miss his important tip. No doctor no tablet”.

One fan mentioned that the Flying Sikh was the “Godfather of Indian Athletics”. (IANS)