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The string of mob lynchings across India over the last year, fueled by false rumors that went viral on social media platforms and messaging apps, raised serious concerns among Indian authorities which have little control over how and what kind of information is shared on these platforms. This problem continues to gnaw at the country and is likely to grow more challenging as India — the world’s largest democracy — gears up for the national election this summer.

Though WhatsApp has made deep inroads into India with more than 200 million subscribers — making the country the largest market for the Facebook-owned company — messaging apps such as Telegram are gaining currency in India as well. Telegram has more robust security features than WhatsApp with fewer limits on the number of people who can join a channel. These features greatly inhibit the moderation of disinformation, which if left unchecked can have serious and even deadly consequences. …

As a last-ditch effort to resurrect its economy, the Venezuelan government has created a national cryptocurrency called the petro in hopes of remedying its hyperinflation and subverting sanctions. Though a national cryptocurrency has the potential to represent a big step for blockchain technology, the petro token is shrouded in a thick layer of disinformation, leaving many to wonder if the token actually exists. …

Brenna Smith

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