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Pakistanis are too smart to fall for fake news

Fake news prevails where there is no check and balance over the disseminators. Social media is a platform with most instances of fake news because anybody can post anything. The world seems to be in grip of fake news yet Pakistan seem to emerge above the propaganda.

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AFP |

A survey conducted by ‘The Centre for International Governance Innovation‘ found Pakistani people to be most skeptical of fake news on the internet where 86% of internet world is being duped by fake news.

Pakistanis encountered a large number of fake news every day. Recently, fake news and propaganda over Pulwama attack on social media tensed the relations with the neighboring arch-rival, India. Several gory images were claimed to originate from the attack but were altogether not from the incident.

A wave of misinformation after the Pulwama attack was driven by heightened emotions, anxious media on both sides and the desire to use this as a political weapon.

The results also revealed a widespread distrust of social media companies and growing concerns over online privacy and biases baked into algorithms used by internet companies.

Nonetheless, Pakistanis remain vigilant and smartly sift through the internet for credible news.

86% of Internet users fall Victim to Fake News

The survey found Eighty-six percent of internet users have been duped by fake news – most of it spread on Facebook – according to a global survey published Tuesday.

Respondents said they want both governments and social media companies to crack down on these activities, which are contributing to a growing distrust of the internet as well as negatively impacting economies and political discourse.

The United States took the lion’s share of the blame for spreading fake news, followed by Russia and China, according to the annual Ipsos survey of more than 25,000 internet users in 25 countries.

Read more: Fake News: an age old phenomenon

Fake news appeared to be most prevalent on Facebook, but also appears on YouTube, blogs and Twitter, the pollsters found.

The survey results showed people in Egypt were the most gullible while respondents in Pakistan were the most skeptical.

Social Media: Propaganda Platform

The results also revealed a widespread distrust of social media companies and growing concerns over online privacy and biases baked into algorithms used by internet companies.

Read more: Is Social Media a hub of fake news?

The poll – which relied on both in-person and online interviews – was conducted between December 21, 2018 and February 10, 2019 on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

“This year’s survey of global attitudes not only underscores the fragility of the internet but also netizens’ growing discomfort with social media and the power these corporations wield over their daily lives,” CIGI’s Fen Osler Hampson said in a statement.

AFP with additional input by GVS news desk