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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 of policemen unloading ammunitions from a motorbike is viral on social media with the caption, “People say that cops stop vehicles to harass them intentionally. Now what to say to this? An investigation by the cops in Jammu and Kashmir.” The 4 minute 20 second video shows a policeman in uniform tearing apart the seat of a motorbike to remove a considerable amount of magazines and a couple of pistols. The video has been doing the rounds with the narrative that Jammu and Kashmir police have seized a vehicle with weapons. But the video is not from India as the black shirt and khaki pants uniform is worn by policemen in parts of Pakistan.

What was shown: Photographs of a man covered with gold chains and jewellery are circulating on social media with the claim that the man is a priest at Tirupati Balaji. According to the claim, he has given 125 kg of gold to his three daughters. The set of photographs also includes an image of three women dressed in bridal wear and adorning heavy gold jewellery. But the photos are from the Facebook page of a Pakistani resident named Amjad Saeed who according to his Facebook bio hails from Rawalpindi and claims to be CEO at Jewellery Mehal.

What was shown: WhatsApp has been flooded with dubious messages claiming to provide “spin and win” offers from Amazon as a part of its Great Indian Festival Sale 2019. The message also contained a link, which redirected us to a website with the address “www.free-gift.xyz/#”. The landing page of the website contained a spinning wheel, with comments below by users who appear to be discussing the results of their spin. But Amazon has no connection to the link being passed around. Amazon does have a “spin and win” offer as a part of its Great Indian Festival Sale 2019 which can be availed only by logging on to the Amazon India App.

What was shown: A 42-second video clip is viral on both Facebook and Twitter with the claim that “Hindu brothers saved a Hindu girl” in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh. The video shows a woman with open wounds on her neck and right cheek. At a distance, a mob can be seen apprehending the alleged perpetrator who knifed the woman. She pleads to the men recording the clip, “Please don’t upload this on social media” and is given assurance from one among the crowd. Another video of the same incident, 1:12 minutes long, has been widely shared using a message that subtly induces a ‘love Jihad’ angle.  But the incident has no communal angle and dates back to September 15, 2019, when a youth named Arvind Kumar knifed his alleged girlfriend suspecting she was having an affair with another man.