2016: Top 10 Fake News Forwards That We Almost Believed
From currency to salt-very little escaped the reach of fake or fabricated news in 2016. Rumours spread from WhatsApp and other social media into the mainstream media. Institutions such as Unesco and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had to step in and tell us what was true. Even Facebook and Google, two of the worlds biggest internet companies, sat up and took notice.
Such news can have widespread reach: India is one of the biggest markets for several social media and communication companies-it has 160 million of WhatsApp’s one billion-plus monthly active users, 148 million Facebook users, and over 22 million Twitter accounts.
The potency of fabricated news came into focus after the 2016 US presidential elections. In the run-up to the ballot, fake news on the elections drew more engagement on Facebook than top-performing stories from major news outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, or The Wall Street Journal, this BuzzFeed News analysis found. Other countries witnessed the rise of fake news too, according to this Guardian report, rendering it a global phenomenon in 2016.
Here are some of the most popular Indian fake news stories of 2016: