The ongoing border conflict between India and China culminated in the death of 20 Indian soldiers during a clash at Galwan Valley on June 15, with reported casualties on the Chinese side as well. Following this clash social media was flooded with misinformation around the conflict.
Soon, this conflict became the bulk of what we fact checked in the later half of June.
Follow the clash, there were speculations regarding the number of casualties on the Chinese side, as China refrained from providing a figure. This led to a number of misleading messages providing unverified figures as official count of Chinese casualties.
The conflict was also used to run smear campaigns against political leaders. Doctored images of leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) were shared with the false claim that they protested against the Indian Army in support of China.
The propaganda and misinformation did not just come from the Indian side, but also from China. Twitter user Eva Zheng shared a dated clip to falsely claim that the People's Liberation Army had given hyperbaric oxygen therapy to injured Indian soldiers who were held captive by China in order to save their lives.
A few prominent journalists fell for the tweet and shared it, only to rectify their mistake later on.
Should clarify: this is not from a Chinese official, but a propaganda account. Figures can't be trusted. But still first numbers to emerge from Chinese side. Look to see if it's repeated— michael safi (@safimichael) June 20, 2020
I have also tweeted this & second Michael https://t.co/iqws86n2jh— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) June 20, 2020
Besides gauging the popularity of COVID-19 and China in the fake news ecosystem, our analysis also showed that shocking events can be a strong precursors to fake news campaigns. Go to the next page to find out more.