The Indian election is the world’s largest democratic exercise. There is, unsurprisingly, some concern that it could be undermined by fake news. Bloomberg News met Boom Live, an 11-strong team of fact-checkers that make up 1 of the 7 firms working with Facebook’s efforts.
Based on the early tallies, more than 60 percent of India’s 900 million eligible voters are expected to cast ballots between now and May 19, as the center-left Congress Party tries to seize power from the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. As in other elections around the world, paid hacks and party zealots are churning out propaganda on Facebook and the company’s WhatsApp messenger, along with Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and other ubiquitous communication channels. Together with Facebook’s automated filters, Boom’s 11 fact-checkers and its similar-size fellow contractors are the front line of the social network’s shield against this sludge.