The Muslim community was the most frequently targetted group by false and misleading claims in the month of November, according to an analysis of all our fact checks from the month.
Furthermore, politics dominated the fake news space, with nearly 43% of our fact checks being on political claims. Out of these 30 claims, 13 of them directly concerned the state of Uttar Pradesh, which is heading for polls next year.
Last month, BOOM did 70 fact checks where the most dominant topics were yet again politics and communal, accounting for 30 and 22 fact checks, respectively.
What Type Of Fake News Went Out?
The most common type of fake news to circulate in November was Misleading Content - genuine information framed in a manner to mislead the reader. It accounted for 27 (39%) of our fact checks.
This was closely followed by False Context - real photos, videos, or text, presented out of context, which accounted for 26 (37%) of our fact checks.
Who Were Targetted?
The most frequent target of mis/disinformation last month was the Muslim Community, with 16 (23%) of our fact checks dealing with false and misleading claims targetting them.
Going through these claims we found a few trends - one common claim was about Muslims adulterating food and medicine with spit, and other bodily fluids. Yet another common claim was about Muslims blocking roads during Namaz, which was shared in the backdrop of the ongoing row on the matter.
Here are some of the fact checks that dealt with such claims:
The second most frequent target of mis/disinformation was the opposition, particularly in Uttar Pradesh - 10 (14%) of our fact checks dealt with such claims. Prominent targets were the Congress Party, Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party.
What Were The Popular Mediums Of Sharing Fake News?
Videos and photos equally dominated as a medium of spread of fake news in the month - 29 fact checks were done on claims shared with both these mediums each.
Text remains a less preferred medium for fake news dissemination with 10 fact checks, while only 2 of our fact checks dealt with audio.
This suggests, yet again, that visuals are increasingly preferred by the fake news makers in dissemination of disinformation campaigns.
Some Interesting Observations
One of the most prominent observations from November was how political and communal fake news was shared.
60% of the political claims were shared with photos as the medium. Video as a medium accounted for 26% of these claims.
Communal claims, however, were shared prominently with videos as the medium. The percentage share of videos and photos for communal claims was 45% and 40% respectively.
This replicates a similar trend in the sharing of communal and political claims that we observed in our October report.
Political claims were found to be shared with different types of mis/disinformation. The most dominant type was Misleading Content, accounting for 40% of the political fact checks.
Communal claims were mostly made with videos and images shared out of context. Such "False Context" claims accounted for 55% of the communal fact checks.
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