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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 photograph re-enacting moments after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by Nathuram Godse is viral on social media with claims that it’s a rare photograph of the original event. The viral post has been captioned as, “A rare Pic of Mohatama (sic) Gandhi’s Murder — Hindu extremist RSS worker Nathuram Godse, the man who killed Gandhi, – was held by two Hindus while dead body of Gandhi is lying on the floor. (30 Jan 1948). RSS was immediately banned by Indian Authorities.” But the photograph is a still from the 1963 film – Nine Hours To Rama, directed by Mark Robson.

What was shown: A video of a crocodile being rescued is viral with the claims that the animal was spotted in Patna, Bihar during the recent floods. A Facebook page, Shiksha Point, shared the clip with the caption, “Crocodile In Patna during Heavy rain.” But the footage was shot during the floods that hit Gujarat early in August this year. The video was part of a news bulletin of NDTV showing a flooded street in Gujarat’s Vadodara.

What was shown: A video clip in which an elderly couple beaten, pushed and jostled into a van by uniformed personnel, is viral on social media. The video has been shared with a message in Kannada which says that police in Pakistan brutally beat up elderly Hindu couples, adding that human rights organisations are nowhere to be seen when minorities in Pakistan are treated in this manner. But the video goes back to November 22, 2017. While the claim that the video is from Pakistan is true, the other claim, that the elderly couple seen in the video is Hindu, is false.

What was shown: An image showing a large number of charred bodies lying on the ground, has been shared on social media with the words, “Over 100 people killed in a massive fire at the Tata steel company in Bokaro.” But the image was from Morogoro in Tanzania. While a massive fire had indeed broken out at the Bokaro Steel Plant on September 22, luckily, there were no casualties.