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India Warns College Students of Misinformation Campaigns Circulating WhatsApp

India/Pakistan: The former Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army addressed college students in India, warning them of an uptick in misinformation campaigns they are seeing on the popular messaging application, WhatsApp. As fast as they are working to get them taken down, new groups and chats are appearing. The main focus of these campaigns is to spread false information about the Kashmir region, which India has been fighting for control with Pakistan for years. The ongoing battle of that region has spilled over into cyber-space in the past with different attacks taking place on both sides. Misinformation campaigns are nothing new and have been seen used by other countries around the world–most recently Russia. Russia uses these campaigns to target countries that are in the middle of an election and spread false information about different candidates to further their agenda.

Analyst Notes

In this case, it is possible that this campaign is being carried out by Pakistan in order to trick Indian citizens into believing that the situation in Kashmir has changed. India did not go into detail on what exactly was being shared but wanted the students and others to know that just because they are hearing one thing about the region, it may not necessarily be true.