Fact-checking platform Boom reported that they have conducted 178 fact checks on misinformation and fake news around Covid-19 since the outbreak of the epidemic in India. Of these, 68 posts were shared on the social media platform Facebook, followed by 28 on WhatsApp and 26 on Twitter.
BOOM (Outcue Media Pvt Ltd,Mumbai) is a digital journalism initiative to fight against misinformation and make internet safer.From 2014 to Nov,2016 it particularly worked as a broad investigating journalism. After Nov,2016 it started working as full fledged fake news busting and fact checking.
The organization’s analysis highlights that the facts related to Covid-19 were on wholesale communal rumors of investigations, including false accusations on Muslims for spreading coronavirus. The report revealed that there was a spike in such rumors in April, with members of the Islamic group, Tablighi Jamaat, testing positive after a congregation in Delhi in March.
Reports also reported that about 35% of false and misleading claims were transmitted via video, followed by text messages and images, which constituted 6.6%. Boom stated that 2.2% of the misinformation was spread through audio clips.Unfortunately, media of misinformation also includes news reports published by mainstream media organizations. These news reports fact-checked for 4% of 178 stories and they mostly made claims against a particular community.
The organization said that “We have also come to know that the number of facts we have published has a positive relationship with the number of Kovid-19 cases in the country. During this period, as the number of cases increased, the BOOM was The number of facts related to the epidemic has increased, ”.The organization, which conducted its first test on January 25, elaborated on the trends that misinformation was spread in February in the Delhi Assembly elections, US President Donald Trump’s visit to India, and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) riots. Delhi.
As governments and organizations around the world were trying to deal with coronaviruses, fake news became another matter that needed to be dealt with. Many governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) were working with social media platforms and other institutions to prevent the spread of fake news and misinformation.
In particular, the Government of India was constantly in touch with social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others to ensure effective and prompt action against any online content that spread misinformation. The government has also issued an advisory for social media companies in March to monitor such news.
Rakesh Maheshwari, the group coordinator of cyber laws and e-security at The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), had said, “It has been reported in the media that there is a trend of circulation of misinformation/false news and sharing anonymous data related to coronavirus in various social media platforms creating panic among the public.”