11. What Does A Year's Worth Of Fact-Checks Tell Us About Misinformation In India?
A bonus episode explaining our 2022 report.
As digital investigators, fact-checkers are forced to look at the small picture, magnifying glass in hand. We zoom in so much—to work out if something is manipulated or not—that we might as well be looking at pixels and 1s and 0s.
But what happens when you zoom out and look at the big picture? What does our work through 2022, all 1135 fact-checks, reveal about ‘fake news’ in India?
Here at BOOM, we crunched the data and munched on the numbers, and then we spat out an annual report. (In this endeavour, our tool of choice wasn’t any statistical toot but the humble spreadsheet.) But what should we read into the report? And what do those graphs mean?
And what does it mean when we say that:
Muslims were the biggest targets of false claims in India, but also the BJP and Narendra Modi.
The misinformation landscape and the model for analysing them here needs to be different from the approach that works in the West.
BOOM does not favour any particular party.
We cannot fact-check everything because not everything is fact-checkable.
Muslims and Hindus were both targeted, but in different ways.
Most of the 76 media misreporting incidents of 2022 were based on stoking communal tensions.
This special episode of Media Buddhi A-Z is for all those who want to dig into the misinformation/disinformation ecosystem in India. The report and this podcast is a good start. If you want to look at our data, please get in touch with us.
In the episode:
Jency Jacob - Managing Editor, BOOM
Debraj Sarkar - Senior Researcher, BOOM
Archis Chowdhury - Senior Correspondent, BOOM
Divya Chandra — Producer, Workshops and Training
H R Venkatesh - Director, Training and Research
As always, thanks for listening.