• September 30, 2020 1:08 am

Reporting From Delhi

Viral lies: exposed


Nov 26, 2019

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:  Images of a building whose rooftop is painted with the Pakistani national flag are being circulated on social media. The image was shared on a Facebook page with the claim that the rooftop is of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur where ideally a Khanda flag should be placed. “Pakistan puts their flags on the rooftop of Kartarpur Gurudwara, instead of khanda flag”, reads the post. But the building shown in the images is the immigration centre at the Kartarpur border and not of Gurduwara Darbar Sahib.

What was shown:  A death hoax about Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, is doing the rounds on social media. A fake link, which appears to be of the BBC at first glance, features Johnson’s image as the thumbnail, along with Rest in Peace. The image also has a BBC News logo on it. The headline of the article reads, “BBCNEWS: Dwayne ‘TheRock’ Johnson Dies at 47 After a Terrible Stunt Attempt Failed.| BBC News.” It has an excerpt that reads, “Stunt crew failed to rescue Dwyne Jhonson resulting to negligence.” Though the headline credits the news to the BBC, the link of the article however, isn’t from the otherwise verified news portal.

What was shown: A photograph of a policeman about to strike a woman protester is being shared with claims that they are recent images of clashes between the Jawaharlal Nehru University students and the police. The photo shows a policeman wielding a baton against a demonstrator, as multiple other police personnel clash with protesters in the background. But the image is of demonstrations in New Delhi against the gang rape of Nirbhaya in 2012 which has resurfaced. Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedic student in New Delhi that shook the entire nation.

What was shown: On social media, a footage of a murder recorded in CCTV is being shared with the claim that members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh attacked a Muslim man. One Sheraz, who in his bio claims to be from Pakistan, tweeted the video with the message, “It is the RSS terrorist of the Hindu terrorist organization in India who openly treats Muslims as animals. #BJPMilitantWingRSS” But the video is actually from Maharashtra where Rafiquddin Shaikh was hacked to death allegedly by members of a rival gang at a tea stall on July 18, 2017. Dhule police had arrested Sagar Sahebrao Pawar alias Kalti from Kamshet in Pune.