The Quint’s WebQoof team analysed trends and hashtags around West Bengal violence for over a week and found that far from being negligible, there was an exponential rise in fake news meant to either communalise the situation or add false political angles to unrelated incidents.
Fake News Galore in West Bengal
The news of violence between workers and supporters of different parties including the BJP, TMC, Congress and Left Front started making headlines as soon as election results were declared on 2 May. As per reports, as many as 17 people have lost their lives so far.
Amid this, hashtags like #BengalViolence, #BengalBurning #PresidentRuleInBengal, #AntiHinduMamata and #ArrestMamata started gaining traction on Twitter. As many as 290.8k tweets were made using the hashtag ‘Bengal Burning’, 220.4k using ‘Arrest Mamata’, 232.5k using the hashtag ‘PresidentRuleInBengal’ on 4 May, alone.
While these hashtags were being used to amplify images and videos of the violence…