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Last Updated : Apr 09, 2019 04:44 PM IST | Source:

Most users in rural India don’t trust WhatsApp messages, says survey

Most have agreed that viral texts can lead to violence.

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom

WhatsApp users in rural India are critical of messages they receive on the platform, according to a survey.

Only 8.4 percent of the respondents have said they always believe WhatsApp messages, as per the survey published in October 2018.

WhatsApp has come under scrutiny over the circulation fake news and rumours after messages and videos triggered a number of mob lynching last year.


Non-profit organisation Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) surveyed 1,018 users across 14 states.

Some of the areas surveyed include Bettiah in Bihar, Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, Chamba, Narendra Nagar and Pratapnagar in Uttarakhand, Betul and Guna in Madhya Pradesh, Musiri in Tamil Nadu, Memboobnagar, Vikarabad and Warangal in Telangana and Alwar and Barmer in Rajasthan.

(Image source: Statista)

Participants were asked to mark a trust score on the basis of 1-10, with 1 being complete distrust and 10 being complete trust.

During the survey, 14.5 percent have said they never trust messages they receive on the platform. On the other hand, 70 percent of the respondents marked a trust score between 1-5.

It is worth noting that the majority of the participants (63.2 percent) were not on the messaging platform when the previous Lok Sabha polls were held in 2014.

Also read: Facebook, WhatsApp shift focus to news credibility in election season

According to 40 percent of the respondents, they were a part of a group chat set up by a political leader.

Most of the respondents (88 percent) could identify a forward and receive 6-20 forwarded messages a day.

Also, most have agreed that viral texts can lead to violence.

(Image source: Hindustan Times)

Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have been included under the scope of the Moral Code of Conduct set by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

To curb fake news on the platform, WhatsApp recently launched a feature called Checkpoint Tipline where users can check the authenticity of the information in messages.

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First Published on Apr 9, 2019 04:44 pm
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