The menace of fake news has been growing by the day. Fake news in today’s time has become a social evil. It has become extremely easy to find the insecurities and fears of people and then circulate false news wide and far for propaganda. It is to be noted that the repercussions of these fake news are graver than perceived to be. Till June 2018, about 15 people were lynched by mobs in 2018 because of suspicion and paranoia created by fake news.
Here are some of the major fake news floated on social media and were shared multiple times:
Mock Drill was mistaken to be a terrorist attack
A video went viral on social media showing armed men indulging in a gunfight. The incident reportedly took place at the Tirupathi-Tirumala bypass road in Andhra Pradesh. This video was widely circulated with claims of being a terrorist attack.
However, turns out that the video was being circulated with a false narrative and wrong context. The supposed “terrorist attack” was, in reality, the elite commando force, Octopus’s (Organisation for Counter Terrorist Operations) exercise with the assistance of local police. Chief Inspector of the Tirupati East Police Station told The Quint it was a “ mock drill and not an attack”.
ACP Jogula Narsaiah told Telangana Today on January 11 that the mock drill was aimed at measures that could be taken in case of a terrorist attack, including how to rescue and evacuate stuck devotees.
Delhi Police’s advisory on possible terror attacks
“All officers are requested to inform their family and loved ones to avoid Chandni Chowk and other crowded areas in Delhi and Bangalore. Two LET groups have reached Delhi and are planning on carrying out two suicide attacks,” reads a viral message. This message has been shared widely on social media. The message said that the information was received from “international branch”. The message further said that the entire Chandni Chowk area, a popular spot in Delhi was a likely target.
This “news” was even carried by Hindi publication Jagran. However, speaking to The Quint, DCP New Delhi IPS Madhur Verma said that the message going around is fake and said that no such message has been issued by the Delhi Police.
Modi govt to print currency notes featuring Atal Bihari Vajpayee
An article saying that the Modi government has taken a “historic step” of printing currency notes featuring Atal Bihari Vajpayee has gone viral and many people are sharing the same on social media. An article suggesting the same was published on Apni Khabare, the title of which reads “मोदी सरकार का ऐतिहासिक फैसला, भारतीय मुद्रा पर होगी पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री अटलजी की तस्वीर” (Modi government’s historic decision, currency to have former PM Atalji’s picture).
The article is accompanied by a picture of Rs 200 note picture with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s photo. This information and article were shared widely on social media.
Notably, the article says that Modi government will issue Rs 100 coins featuring late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s picture. While the article instead features a Rs 1000 coin.
However, as per Alt News, no such announcement has been made by the Modi government. In December, PM Modi released a commemorative Rs 100 coin in the honour of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Creating or sharing fake news is never justified. We have a responsibility to verify everything that we post on the internet. To ensure that our national debate is healthy and well-informed, each and every one of us has a responsibility of treating what we read with a pinch of salt, a spoonful of doubt, and a flood of research.
To all the political parties and leaders, ruling or opposition, please don’t be a part of the problem. Be part of the solution. For a better future, for a better nation.