03 August, 2021

Tales From The 4G Rumour Mill

Fear is trending and violence is a ping away, why does fake news make India erupt?

Shillong is pushed into curfew as fake news about the death of a tribal causes a riot- like situation in the hill town
Photograph by PTI
Tales From The 4G Rumour Mill

Memories of Haze

  • Bangalore 2012 This was one of the early episodes of chaos induced through social media.  Messages claiming that people, largely students, from the Northeast were being targeted in Bangalore by locals were circulated via social media, still at a somewhat nascent stage. What followed was a mass exodus ­attempt by people from Northeastern states with thousands rushing to the railway station to flee the virtually created hostile vibe.
  • Muzaffarnagar 2013 The main spark of the 2013 communal riots in Muzzafarnagar was a stray WhatsApp video. The video, most likely from a remote area of Pakistan, showed a mob brutally beating two men. It was shared widely to spread anger against a community. The state government had to intervene and clear the air around the falsely attributed video, but the venom had been spread by then.
  • Jharkhand...

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