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Indian fact-checkers step up fight against 'fake news'

Web startups aim to debunk bogus reports ahead of state and national elections

Boom is being paid by Facebook to monitor the Karnataka election, looking for "fake news" across media platforms. (A screenshot of Boom website)

NEW DELHI -- As the southern Indian state of Karnataka gears up for elections on May 12, a series of false stories about politicians has emerged in local media.

In late April, a report named a list of politicians who would campaign for the state's ruling Congress Party. A few days later, a right-wing website and some regional media reported that officials of the state's income tax department had raided the home of a local minister. The next day, a report that claimed to forecast the election result on the basis of a secret survey by the state's intelligence agency appeared on social media.

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