Briefing: Bytedance’s Indian news app has a fake news problem

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Fake news and hate speech thrive on regional language social media– Hindustan Times

What happened: A Hindustan Times investigation has revealed that Bytedance’s Indian regional-language news platform Helo, with at least 5 million estimated registered users, is rife with misinformation and political propaganda.

Why it’s important: This isn’t the first time that the world’s most valuable startup’s news apps have been accused of spreading fake news. Its wildly popular Chinese app Jinri Toutiaohas faced a series of disciplinary action from regulators for inappropriate content. English-language Topbuzz has struggled with a fake news problem as well and has recently taken steps to clean the platform up. As social media gains popularity in less-developed areas of the world, platforms are increasingly being accused of exacerbating ethnic and religious tensions. In Sri Lanka and Myanmar, regional-language misinformation and propaganda that was spread through Facebook are blamed for fomenting violence against Muslim minority groups.