Category:False News in Tamil Nadu, India

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How we fought WhatsApp False News and prevented two tragedies in Chennai

When we heard about the recent lynchings in India due to fake WhatsApp postings, our team immediately sprang into action and picked the city of Chennai as a pilot target to test if we could prevent another tragedy.

On July 13th, 2018, we noticed two False News stories propagating via WhatsApp, one asking people to punish a school teacher in Perambur, Chennai for hitting and kicking little children, and another news that circulated a young female doctor's photo, claiming she was treating patients for free in Chennai. Both these posts went viral on WhatsApp and Facebook.

Our team immediately kicked off the pilot. Through our innovative crowd-sourced methodology, we first learnt that the video that was circulated was from a school in Egypt, recorded in 2014, not from Perambur, Chennai. We also quickly uncovered the other story about the doctor was also false, propagated by a person who steals profile photos of young women from Facebook. Once the stories were identified to be false, our "reverse virality" approach ensured the propagation of the false news is stopped within a few hours. With reverse virality, the corrected version of the false news is propagated back through the same path the story originated, via WhatsApp and Facebook, targeting those who might have consumed the false news.

We were able to stop both the False News stories within a few hours. We also noticed the propagation of the false news completely stopping within 24 hours. Within two weeks, we were able to stop a dozen False News stories in Chennai alone, some harmless and some deadly.

Pages in category "False News in Tamil Nadu, India"

The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total.