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Viral lies: exposed

Misinformation through Whatsapp forwards —videos and photos — spreads like wildfire. Here is our compilation of fake Whatsapp videos that went viral and the reality behind these distorted facts

What was shown: A video showing a room with stacks of various currency notes is being shared as cash seized from Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar’s warehouse that caught fire. The viral clip is being shared on WhatsApp with the caption, “Cash Cash and Cash only. One of Tamilnadu Politician – Fire in his godown Today – Currency burnt is meagre only. But see the stash of unaccounted money.” But, the video is actually of an art installation in Spain titled “European Dream”. It was created by Madrid-based artist Alejandro Monge and was displayed at the Art Madrid festival in 2018. Alejandro Monge himself has uploaded the video to his Instagram account, calling it out as fake.

What was shown: A video has been posted on Twitter, along with the claim that clashes have taken place between Assam police and Indian army personnel, purportedly over the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The video clip is 45 seconds long, and shows a scuffle taking place between men in police uniforms and men in military fatigues. But it is an old video of February 2018 depicting a clash between army and police personnel in Delhi and was falsely shared as unrest in Assam over the NRC.

What was shown: A video clip showing a group of men dressed in combat fatigues marching away as many as five men – two of them handcuffed – before they are made to kneel has gone viral on social media. “Where’s peace in Kashmir? Why doesn’t the pimp media show this,” reads the caption with the viral clip. But, later a longer version of the same video was found which was uploaded by Vidarbha News 365 that made it clear that the incident was actually a mock drill carried out by police officials in Amravati, Maharashtra on July 27, 2019.

What was shown: A photo of an elephant pushing a bus is being shared with the claim that it saved lives of people by stopping the bus falling in a ditch in Uttarakhand. But the image is not from India but Bangladesh. The caption of the photograph reads, “An elephant pushes a stranded bus as it is employed to clear a road in Barishal, 120 kilometers, (75 miles) south of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, Friday, Nov. 16, 2007.”