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WEF: 'Misinformation' biggest immediate threat to India and the world, claims WEF report

Pankaj Prasad
World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum

About 300 crore people are likely to participate in elections in various countries including India and America in the next two years.

About 300 crore people are likely to participate in elections in various countries including India and America in the next two years. In such a situation, misinformation and social polarization have emerged as one of the biggest immediate risks facing the world.

In the case of India alone, 'misinformation and incomplete information' is the biggest threat in the next two years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in its annual 'Global Risks Report'. This is followed by infectious diseases, illegal economic activity, income inequality and labor shortage as the five biggest short-term risks.

If we talk about ten years, the biggest global risk could be from extreme weather events. The report warns of a global risk scenario that could slow progress in human development. “Against a backdrop of systemic changes in global power dynamics, climate, technology and demography, global risks are stretching the world's adaptive capacity to its limits,” WEF said.

The report, released ahead of the WEF's five-day annual meeting starting on January 15 in Davos, argues that new approaches are needed to cooperate on urgent global issues and address risks.
 
The report, prepared in partnership with Zurich Insurance Group and Marsh McLennan, takes into account the views of more than 1,400 global risk experts, policy-makers and industry leaders surveyed in September 2023.

Over a short-term period of two years, the report identified 'misinformation or incomplete information' as the biggest risk, followed by extreme weather events, social polarization, cyber insecurity and inter-state armed conflict as the top five risks.

According to the report, "In many economies, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, the UK and the US, nearly three billion people are expected to vote in the next two years, making the widespread use of misinformation and incomplete information and The tools used to disseminate it can undermine the legitimacy of newly elected governments."

"This could result in unrest, violent demonstrations, hate crimes, civil conflict and terrorism," it said. As the integrity of information declines, the threat of domestic propaganda and censorship will also increase, the WEF report said. "