Bulk Of Covid-19 Related Fact-Checks In April Related To Communal Rumours, Claims BOOM Live
A medical technician takes a swab from a person at a mobile Covid-19 testing van operating during a lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in New Delhi, India (Photographer. T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Bulk Of Covid-19 Related Fact-Checks In April Related To Communal Rumours, Claims BOOM Live

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A bulk of the Covid-19 related fact-checks in April were related to communal rumours, most of which were false allegations that Muslims were spreading the virus on purpose, according to a report by BOOM Live.

BOOM Live, a fact-checking platform that works with social media companies like Facebook, said its study analysed 178 fact-checks on Covid-19 related to misinformation or disinformation relating to the pandemic between January and May.

“During April, a new trend observed was that communally charged disinformation targeting Muslims became more frequent,” the report said.

By the end of April, a bulk of BOOM Live's fact-checks were on communal rumours.

Also read: Covid-19 Testing Capacity Scaled Up To 95,000 Per Day, Says Health Minister

The report further noted that after several members of the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic missionary group, tested positive, “Islamophobic rumours around them purposefully spreading the virus became viral on the internet”.

Other trends also witnessed in April were a spike in fake news related to politics, misinformation about the lockdown in India and the spread of the virus in Italy, and rumours about the Indian economy.

"We also noticed a small number of audio clips going viral with false contexts. A few of our fact-checks were on news reports by mainstream media organisations. Most of these stories were found to make false claims against a particular community," it added.

BOOM Live said it had seen a spike in text-based misinformation in March as false notifications and lockdown guidelines became viral.

Also read: A Look at the Most Promising Candidates for a Covid-19 Vaccine

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