Investigating Misinformation Dissemination on Social Media in Pakistan

by   Danyal Haroon, et al.

Fake news and misinformation are one of the most significant challenges brought about by advances in communication technologies. We chose to research the spread of fake news in Pakistan because of some unfortunate incidents that took place during 2020. These included the downplaying of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and protests by right-wing political movements. We observed that fake news and misinformation contributed significantly to these events and especially affected low-literate and low-income populations. We conducted a cross-platform comparison of misinformation on WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube with a primary focus on messages shared in public WhatsApp groups, and analysed the characteristics of misinformation, techniques used to make is believable, and how users respond to it. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to compare misinformation on all three platforms in Pakistan. Data collected over a span of eight months helped us identify fake news and misinformation related to politics, religion and health, among other categories. Common elements which were used by fake news creators in Pakistan to make false content seem believable included: appeals to emotion, conspiracy theories, political and religious polarization, incorrect facts and impersonation of credible sources.


page 9

page 21

page 22

page 25

page 30

page 39

page 40

page 42


Understanding Twitters behavior during the pandemic: Fake News and Fear

The outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been acc...

Prta: A System to Support the Analysis of Propaganda Techniques in the News

Recent events, such as the 2016 US Presidential Campaign, Brexit and the...

Fake News Spreader Detection on Twitter using Character N-Grams. Notebook for PAN at CLEF 2020

The authors of fake news often use facts from verified news sources and ...

Under the Conditions of Non-Agenda Ownership: Social Media Users in the 2019 Ukrainian Presidential Elections Campaign

Owing to its history and challenging circumstances, social networks comm...

Keystroke Biometrics in Response to Fake News Propagation in a Global Pandemic

This work proposes and analyzes the use of keystroke biometrics for cont...

Estimation and Model Misspecification: Fake and Missing Features

We consider estimation under model misspecification where there is a mod...

Analysing Social Media Network Data with R: Semi-Automated Screening of Users, Comments and Communication Patterns

Communication on social media platforms is not only culturally and polit...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset