With more than 390 million users, almost everyone in India uses WhatsApp, a 14-year-old application for chatting and calling. It's no surprise that election money has flowed in the direction of WhatsApp, which has become a battlefield for contemporary Indian elections with thousands of WhatsApp admins sending propaganda messages to every voter.
But who creates these messages? How does a propaganda message travel in a country like India—a land with high-digital penetration despite low digital literacy—where WhatsApp misinformation and disinformation have led to deadly riots and lynchings?
This project traces the journey of propaganda messages over an election year. Journalist Srishti Jaswal studied the volume of WhatsApp messages for six months that a local booth worker got in a remote Indian town.