The whole of India is vulnerable right now. The reason for the same is the General Election. The two parties in India are at war currently. Everything depends on who is winning the battle on social media and no one cares about if the news spread is fake or authentic. The only thing the Indians care right now is if their party is winning or no.
That said, India is going through this for the first time and nothing is spared not even terrorist attacks. There was one in Kashmir a month or two ago where around 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed by a suicide bomber. Right after that, a call between the Home Minister, the president of Bhartiya Janata Party which is also the ruling party and a woman was leaked. This call saw the trio talk about the nationalist nature of the country and how war is good for the elections.
However, hours after the call was released by a Facebook user, it had around 2.5 million views with 150 thousand shares. In the meanwhile, BOOM, Facebook’s India based fact checking partner exposed the video within the first 24 hours. BOOM also said that the call was put together by cutting audio together from previous videos or interviews from the leaders. Facebook took down the post but it had already gone viral.
This could have been even worse if the call would have made it to the people’s head. It was termed as fake by many people also but imagine if people thought it was true? It would have been a crushing scenario for the Prime Minister of India and for his party as well. Misinformation, no matter how much you try and curb, it is going to be around just like that video. Reuters have found that video on YouTube, Facebook, and even Twitter.
This is one example as to how social media companies fail to put a stop on this thing. Once Facebook takes down a certain video, it should make sure it doesn’t appear anywhere. However, it is still out there and this is extremely harsh on the people suffering from biased, misinformed and fake news. That being said, the government has zero policies for the same and the person doing this cannot be held under a criminal offense.
However, the person who posted that video is being held under forgery. The investigations are ongoing. This is a shame on both fronts and all the organizations need to handle it better than they are doing it at the moment.