Coronavirus: The human cost of fake news in India – BBC News
Fake or misleading news can have a real impact on those who find themselves the targets. This has been a particular problem in India during the coronavirus pandemic, where reliable sources of news are frequently drowned out by unverified information online.
False information has had serious consequences for minority communities as well as some business sectors such as the meat industry.
The Reality Check team has looked at the extent of this misinformation and some of those directly affected.
Religious tensions exposed
India’s religious fault lines are an important theme across false stories spreading online, something that has been further highlighted by the coronavirus outbreak.
We’ve looked back at claims debunked by five Indian fact-checking websites between January and June this year.
They fall under four broad headings:
- Coronavirus outbreak
- February’s Delhi riots
- Citizenship Amendment Act
- Claims about the Muslim minority
Of the 1,447 fact-checks on five Indian websites, claims around coronavirus dominated, making up 58% of them.
This was largely related to false cures, lockdown rumours and conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus.
In the period between January and