In India, paid news is old news, as fake news occupies that space

If you think fake news is something only for a fancy war between The New York Times and US president Donald Trump, think again. India is facing the same challenge, but perhaps in a different way — and in fact, this one may be harder to counter than the ones that are shaking up the establishment in the United States. Here’s why.

Representational image. AP.

Representational image. AP.

First, it is heartening to note that Facebook, which is now the world’s leading platform for sharing of news and views by all accounts, has begun tagging news items as “disputed” by citing fact-checking sites such as Snopes.com as gatekeepers. By now, it is part of Internet folklore on how enterprising youngsters from Macedonia set up fake news sites to make money because these invited clicks that helped them earn dubious advertising cash.

There is more to fake news in India than pay-per-click equivalents of fly-by-night operators. What is at stake is the reputation of the mainstream media and a contentious ideological propaganda involving political groups that have affiliated news sites that set the stage for social media trolling.

There are three categories of dubious or fake news in India...

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The author is a senior journalist. He tweets @madversity


Published Date: Mar 06, 2017 02:30 pm | Updated Date: Mar 06, 2017 02:30 pm