HYDERABAD: Videos that are watched by Indians on YouTube, on a daily basis, are predominantly fake, ambiguous and hoax. Whenever a major event happens, especially tragedies, the YouTube is flooded with conspiracy theories.
During the untimely demise of actor Sridevi, YouTube was filled with several videos, most of them with fake. Even if a person opens a fresh account, the YouTube India home page can show some sleazy suggestions because YouTube’s algorithm chooses them based on the views in India.
The video content contributed up to 65 per cent of the total mobile data traffic in India, according to a Nokia MbIT 2018 report. While India has become the world’s largest mobile data-consuming nation, YouTube also caters to the country with a different algorithm for India compared to other countries. This is attributed to the wide variety of languages and diverse people with different tastes.
Experts believe that over the past five years, the meaning of digital literacy has changed from computer education to being able to effectively use smart phones.
Many users are coming online and are exploring the internet all by themselves. Evidently, it is easy for them to get carried away by fake news.
Nitin Kumar, a software engineer, said, “My mother saw a video on Youtube which asked her to put a leaf on her sandal and walk. She tried it and ended up with pain. We had to rush to the doctor”.
The company is yet to fix the issue of fake videos in India while it is testing it out in US. In February, it rolled out the notices option “to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube.”
With the new option, a notice will appear below the video, and include a link to Wikipedia so that the viewers can learn more about the news broadcaster.