A post went viral on social media amid local elections in Nepal with a Hashtag #BBC_Nepali claiming it as the internal vote survey of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Nepali service. According to it, the communist party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) is leading in the elections, Nepal Congress party is on second number and the Unified Communist party of Nepal- Maoist (UCPN-M) is on third.
When data was retrieved, the post had 1K likes, 172 comments with 86 shares. The post was widely shared on twitter too.
In order to investigate the claim, we checked for BBC News Nepal official handles on social media found that BBC has denied the claim of carrying out such a survey in Nepal.
Moreover, we checked for official results of Nepal Local Election and found that Nepal Congress won the most electoral seats while Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) was second and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) was ranked third.
Our research confirmed that the viral post was a rumor in order to show Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) as winning party to mislead the public and to create pressure on other parties and their supporters.
ABCDE Framework-Based Analysis
|Actor||Independent social media accounts are involved in spreading misinformation on social media.|
|Behavior||A survey result is posted on social media, claiming it to be an internal survey conducted by BBC Nepal, to mislead the public.|
|Content||Social Media posts.|
|Degree||The content is being spread to mislead people regarding election results. No synthetic means are used to make the content viral. Since the survey was wrongly associated with BBC Nepal, people believed it to be authentic and shared it widely across social media platforms.|
|Effect||The shared video is being circulated to mislead the audience and portray that the Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) is winning with majority. Disinformation and elections have a deep-rooted relationship, misinformation is spread before, after and on election day to spread chaos and uncertainty among people.|