Mexico’s elections and the problem with fake news

Fake news, fake polls and fake voting instructions – misinformation abounds in Mexico’s upcoming election and verification programmes are struggling to keep up.

Social media has played a significant role in Mexico‘s elections, as voters head to the polls on July 1st. According to Statista, 85 million people are on Facebook in Mexico.

But there has been a large-scale social media dissemination of partisan political messages and false news.

”Bots and false accounts on Twitter and Facebook are increasingly difficult to detect. They are no longer purely automated, but are instead cyborg, at times, managed by a human who cultivates a history of human account activity to evade suspicion,” says Monika Glowacki from the Oxford Internet Institute.

”News-seeking is moving away from public platforms and into private, one-to-one applications, such as WhatsApp, the most popular texting service in Mexico. This is sinister, because misinformation is seeping into your private life.”

Verificado 2018 is an independent collaborative initiative which aims to fact-check and debunk misinformation.

Al Jazeera’s Raheela Mahomed looks at some the fake news stories dominating the internet.