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The Big Story

Friend request: How India's battle with Facebook will change the internet

WhatsApp encryption targeted as tech giant navigates fake news and hacked accounts

MEGHA BAHREE, Nikkei Asian Review contributing writer | India

GURUGRAM, India -- By the second week of March, India had only recorded around 50 cases of COVID-19, but the country felt on edge, poised for the outbreak to explode. On social media, rumors had begun to fly.

One claimed that the outbreak had been concocted to hide the spread of a bioweapon, which had been released by accident in Wuhan, China. Another, designed to stoke already heightened social tensions, said that Muslims were deliberately spreading the virus by spitting on bread.

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