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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: Several false posts on social media claiming Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor is related to former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. Hours after the news about the Yes Bank crisis broke out, social media posts linking the troubled bank’s co-founder – Rana Kapoor and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, went viral. The viral post claims ‘the man behind Yes Bank crisis – Rana Kapoor – turned out to be the son-in-law of P Chidambaram.’ Now ask Congress sycophants what led to the Yes Bank fiasco. Boom digs deep and found out Yes Bank was founded by Rana Kapoor and Ashok Kapur in 2004. However, as per the viral posts about P. Chidambaram’s family tree and found out that he has one son: Karti P Chidambaram. When Karti Chidambaram was contacted, and asked about the viral message he rubbished the claim, “We can’t be reacting to all silly gossip which are circulated in Social Media”.

What was show: Several false claims about Al Jazeera Correspondent’s Anti-Hindu Remark Angers Twitter Users. The latest report suggests that many right-wing Twitter users in India tweeted screenshots of a tweet that called for ‘butchering Hindus’, from an account of an individual who claimed to be a correspondent with Al Jazeera and also claimed to have worked with The Wire, in the past. Boom found out the account to be spurious with both organizations outrightly rejecting the claim that the person behind the account was in any way connected to them. Distancing itself from the account, the organization released a strongly-worded statement late Friday. “Al Jazeera Media Network condemns in the strongest terms the vicious attempts to defame the Network as propagating anti-Indian and anti-Hindu sentiments”.

What was shown: A very disturbing image of China producing corned beef with human body parts is being spread widely across WhatsApp and on many social media platforms as well alongwith the video of it as well. The video captures a person in a long gown with their head and face concealed with a hat and face mask, skinning off human corpses in an alleyway or street besides a concrete wall, where many other dead bodies are strewn and similarly attired individuals standing around. Boom  investigated and broke down the video’s key frames and using image analysis tool, Yandex, was able to trace the video to third party websites that speculated it to be capturing a Tibetan-Buddhist tradition of a ‘sky burial’. The image sets shared along with the claim were found to be unrelated to each other. The images of the canned meat products were generic product images, while the image of the skinned human body on the morgue table is from a video game’s promotional campaign of a ‘human meat’ shop.

What was shown: A video claiming Hindi news channel Aaj Tak reported that China’s prime minister said reading the Quran and offering Namaaz can help prevent the Coronavirus, is false. The viral clip has been culled from a longer video which fact-checked false claims surrounding the deadly disease. The Hindi caption accompanying the 28-second clip reads: ‘Chinese prime minister has ordered to open locks of all mosques and to recite Quran and Namaaz. Only the Quran has the cure for Coronavirus. Undoubtedly.’ BOOM looked at the video and found several indications about it being a ‘Viral Test’, Aaj Tak’s show where it debunks false claims. The faded stamp on the video can be seen clearly. We found the original video clip which is a four-minute-long video of the ‘Viral Test’ bulletin of Aaj Tak.