Rumors spread on social media fuel deadly India mob attacks

Fueled by rumors of child kidnappers and spread on social media, Indian mobs have killed well over a dozen people in brutal attacks since early May.

There was no truth to the rumors, police say, but fear ignited by those messages led to the brutal deaths last week of two Indian tourists.

Experts point to all sorts of reasons to explain the attacks. They cite everything from the power of social media to India’s hobbled school system. There’s also widespread distrust of the police and the courts, both of which are burdened by corruption and poor training, that leads people to take the law into their own hands.