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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 disturbing video related to the recent protests against the CAA in Delhi where dead bodies of a baby and a woman are dug out from the ground is circulating on social media. A Twitter user Major Muhammad Arif (@marifthahim) shared the clip and wrote, “Muslims are being buried alive in India.” This video spread on the social media platforms like a wildfire. However, ALT NEWS found out that the video is from West Bengal published by eisamay.indiatimes.com on January 31, 2020 and the incident took place in Haluguch village under the jurisdiction of Islampur police station in North Dinajpur. A man named Akbar Ali allegedly murdered his wife and month-and-a-half-year-old baby after a domestic spat. Ali buried the dead bodies near his residence which were dug out after villagers suspected wrongdoing. The enraged locals also set Ali’s house on fire but he managed to escape.

What was shown: A disturbing photo of policeman wearing protective gear attacking a minor with a stick has gone social media with the claim that Delhi Police is beating a Muslim boy. This image is viral on twitter and Facebook. This picture has been shared over 32,000 times. However, Alt news found out that on February 29, Udit Raj, former MP and Indian National Member (INC) tweeted this image as well. However, he did not claim that the image is from New Delhi, instead, he posted a short poem.

What was shown: False images of a man serving Biryani are going viral on the social media which claims that a restaurant in Coimbatore serving biryani laced with tablets to Hindus, which would render them impotent. Boom found out that the claim has been debunked by Coimbatore Police on Twitter, who called out the post as fake news and launched a probe to trace the handle that originally posted it.

What was shown: A morphed image of an announcement by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in a Hindi daily Dainik Jagran about compensation for the riot affected areas is viral on social media. The viral image shows the word ‘Muslim’ written on the top; falsely claims that the party is compensating the Muslims only. BOOM searched for the original newspaper and found that the announcement did not make any such segregation in terms of religion. The advertisement had a text in Hindi, which reads, “दंगा पीिड़तों की मदद हेतु” (Translation: For the help of riot victims).