To study the colossal damage caused by unverified fake news and to find out if people are able to verify the news that they are consuming, Ankita Garg, and her co-founder Amitabh Mehta, both alumni of IIM Bangalore, started researching around how they can contribute to the cause of Fake News using gamification. Their startup, Enthrall Labs, which builds games and mobile apps around novels and education, felt this issue to be worth fighting for. “It is our way to contribute to the society as techies”, adds Ankita. They wanted to test the following hypothesis – “Can people recognize fake news? Do people agree that they can’t recognize fake news? Will they enjoy it if the news verification process is presented as a challenge?” They quickly designed an experiment, collecting a set of messages and sharing it with a sample audience. The sample had mixed demography – educated, uneducated, metropolitan, tier two cities, etc. The results were startling. The results revealed that a large chunk of people could not identify fake news and believed in it instantly. Quite amusingly, this chunk included a lot of people who were assumed to be fairly aware. These were the people who were educated and were always online.

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