Today the Congress party posted a tweet from its official Twitter handle saying that India has become the number 1 country in the world for fake news. Quoting a report by dubious website newscentral24x7, the party mocked the Modi government for this ‘achievement’.
Modiji has finally achieved his objective, India is the number 1 country in the world…. for fake news! Congratulations NoMo, your party’s efforts to peddle lies have succeeded. https://t.co/2Ti9iRAl0M
— Congress (@INCIndia) February 7, 2019
The newscentral24x7 report, which is based on a Microsoft survey on digital civility, says that India has topped the fake news menace globally, and that is likely to get worse before Lok Sabha polls.
But when we checked the original survey report by Microsoft, we have found that there is no truth in the claim that India is number 1 in fake news.
The study by tech giant Microsoft measures Digital Civility Index (DCI), which factors various online behaviour, fake news is a part of which. 22 countries across the world were included in the study. In the DCI, India ranked 7th among the 22 countries.
The fake news problem has been covered under the section Hoaxes, scams & frauds, and as it can be seen in the screenshot from the report given below, it is clear that Argentina tops the list with 75%, much above the global average of 57%.
Other top countries in the spread of fake news include Columbia and Hungary with 67%. The global report for fake news does not include India, but the India specific report says that the India average for fake news was 64%.
Therefore, although 64% is significantly higher than the global average of 57%, it is definitely not the highest as per the report. Hence to say that India tops the fake news in the Microsoft survey is fake news itself.
This means that while Congress party is blaming the Modi government for rising fake news in India, the party itself is spreading fake news. If Congress party continues this, one day India will definitely top the list of fake news.