Fake news is a fairly new expression but one that has quickly become a frequent part of our everyday vocabulary. To many, fake news articles or fabricated videos and images can just be ignored and scrolled past but in some parts of the world, the reaction to fake news is very different.

In India, group messages containing fake information about a series of child abductions led to the murders of the alleged perpetrators by mobs. People in India forward more posts and messages than any other country, making the social media circles rife with fake news. One of the videos which were spread showed a man on a motorbike snatching a young boy. It was made as part of a government campaign but was edited to look as though it was CCTV footage. These videos and news stories were spread via Whatsapp.

The Facebook-owned messaging company has a quarter of a billion users in India. A large number of Indians are uneducated and fairly new to technology and so can be quick to believe the information received on social media.

To prevent these types of murders happening in the future, Whatsapp has limited the number of people a message can be forwarded to 20 worldwide and 5 in India.

Despite these measures, there are still ways in which fake news can be spread. Other social media platforms and messaging services do not place any restrictions on the type of information users share or how quickly this information can be spread.

Twitter- 20 die from Fake News in the last 2 months