Fake News and Its Impact on Lok Sabha Elections 2019

A survey by Social Media Matters (SMM) and Institute for Governance, Policies and Politics (IGPP) has found that over 53% of the population has received fake news over various social media platforms as the elections near.

Impact of Fake News

Facebook and WhatsApp are the leading platforms which are being used to disseminate misinformation among the users. Approximate 1 in Two Indians have agreed to have received Fake News in the last 30 days.

As India gets ready to take the polls this year, an estimated 900 million voters (9.4% new voters) are battling the influence of fake news before they vote for their candidates. With an estimated half-a-billion voters with access to the internet, fake news can have an enormous impact on the election which starts on April 11. The survey '#DontBeAFool' was conducted by SMM and IGPP to interrogate dissemination, penetration and impact of fake news spread via social media on the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

India has witnessed a series of incidents which are the consequences of Fake News, resulting in mob lynchings and unrest in communities. During the election season, the escalation of fake news increases and eventually impacts the decision of the voters.

The results have staggering figures which state that 62% of the population believes that the upcoming elections will be influenced by the misinformation that the users are receiving. The age group that has led the conversation in the sample population is between 18-25 years with a total of 54%. The survey has been undertaken by 56% males, 43% females and 1% by transgenders.

#DontBeAFool is intended to understand voter’s perspective post they are infused with misinformation during elections. The findings of this survey is based upon a sample size of 628 voters across the country who have expressed their views and personal experiences of identifying Fake News through various social media platforms.

Facebook and WhatsApp are the leading platforms being used for dissemination of misinformation. The survey states that 96% of the sample population has received fake news via WhatsApp.

41% of the population stated that they made efforts to authenticate a news with a search on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Towards a positive note 54% of the sample population has suggested that they have never been affected by Fake News, but 43% of them have known people who have been misled by the same.

Download the Survey Report here: Don't Be A Fool Survey Summary Report
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