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Former NDTV anchor Priyanshi Sharma spreads fake news about India on The Wire ironically while complaining about fake news: Details

When OpIndia checked the 'source' of her claim, we found huge discrepancies in the assertions made by Priyanshi Sharma about India topping the list of countries in fake information.

On Saturday (2nd March), The Wire courted controversy after falsely claiming that India ranks first globally in ‘fake news.’

In a video published on the YouTube channel of the leftist propaganda outlet, ex-NDTV anchor Priyanshi Sharma was heard saying, “India is the number one country globally, not in GDP, employment or health indicators, but in fake information.”

To back her claims, she cited the 19th edition of the ‘Global Risk Report’, which was published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on 10th January this year.

“It ranks misinformation as the biggest danger to the world in the next two years, even more dangerous than natural disasters and armed conflicts,” Priyanshi Sharma said, highlighting 5 recently viral fake news stories.

When OpIndia checked the ‘source’ of her claim, we found huge discrepancies in the assertions made by the ex-NDTV anchor about India topping the list of countries in fake information.

The 124-page ‘Global Risk Report 2024’, published [pdf] by the World Economic Forum, did not make any such claims.

On the 8th page of the report, it noted that misinformation and disinformation remain great challenges for poll-bound nations such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Disclaimer: The screenshot from Page 19 of the WEF report contains a distorted map of India. Both PoK and Aksai Chin are integral parts of India

As close to three billion people are expected to head to the electoral polls across several economies – including – over the next two years, the widespread use of misinformation and disinformation, and tools to disseminate it, may undermine the legitimacy of newly elected governments,” the ‘Global Risk Report 2024’ read.

Page 19 of the report further stated, “Over the next two years, close to three billion people will head to the electoral polls across
several economies, including the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Indonesia. The presence of misinformation and disinformation in these electoral processes could seriously destabilize the real and perceived legitimacy of newly elected governments, risking political unrest, violence and terrorism, and a longer-term erosion of democratic processes.

Based on its Executive Opinion Survey (EOS) conducted in 2023, the World Economic Forum identified ‘top 5 risks’ facing individual nations in the world. In that context, it concluded that ‘misinformation and disinformation’ remain the top risk in India.

The other risks facing the nation include infectious diseases, illicit economic activity, inequality (wealth, income) and labour shortage.

Page 106 of Global Risk Report 2024, image via World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum similarly listed the ‘top 5 risks’ for other countries as well. It even released a world map highlighting misinformation and disinformation as ‘top risk’ in India.

However, ex-NDTV anchor Priyanshi Sharma took the findings of the report out of context to claim that India ranked first globally in ‘fake information.’ This was not claimed by the ‘Global Risk Report 2024’ in any form or manner.

It did not imply anywhere that India is No.1 globally in fake information. The controversial video published on the YouTube channel of The Wire aimed to make people aware of ‘misinformation and disinformation’ while peddling fake news at the same time.

Global Risk Report notes India’s growing economic strength

Priyanshi Sharma, in her video for The Wire, failed to mention the acknowledgement of India’s economic prowess by the World Economic Forum in its report.

Page 59 of the report read, “Further, a handful of states, such as India, may soon have the scale and economic might to disrupt technology development directly, with new innovations capturing market share or key stages of the value-added supply chain.

It is thus clear that with the Lok Sabha elections just around the corner, an all-out attempt is being made to tarnish the global perception of India by the left-liberal ecosystem within the contrary.

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Duttahttps://dibakardutta.in/
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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