Fact Check: From Mandsaur Gangrape To Maharashtra’s Mob Attack: Three Instances Where Fake News Went Viral
Fake news in today’s day and time have 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 to establish the same.
It is to be noted that the repercussions of these fake news are graver than perceived to be. Till June, about 15 people were lynched by mob in 2018 because of suspicion and paranoia created by fake news.
Here are some of the major fake news which were floated on social media and were shared multiple times.
Muslims responsible for 95% of rapes?
It was one of the most widely shared fake news in the recent past. A message saying, “NCRB report: India is most dangerous for women reason: In India, 95% of the rape cases have a Muslim perpetrator. Of the total 84734 rape cases, 81000 rapes had a Muslim rapist and 96% of the victims are non-Muslims and with an increase in their population, number of rapes will also increase -translation”, was circulated on social media. In this message, it was falsely claimed that National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), which is the nodal agency for the compilation of statistics on crime in India had released a report saying that Muslim men were responsible for most of the rapes in the country and that the victims were mostly Hindu women.
It is to be noted that the NCRB 2016 report did not consider religion as a category for recording crimes.
Mahesh Vikram Hegde, founder of PostCard News, who is also followed by PM Modi, posted the same message on his social media handle which was then shared over 1200 times. At present Hegde’s Twitter account remains suspended.
Other people on Facebook and Twitter too shared this news.
Flood of fake news post Mandsaur gangrape
Mandsaur gangrape was an incident of a heinous crime against an innocent child. In this case, an eight-year-old school kid was picked up from her school premises and then brutally gang-raped. Several false quotes were attributed to Congress leaders in an attempt to show that they tried to sympathise with the rape accused.
One of the most prominent among them was the misinterpreted quote attributed to Madhya Pradesh MP Jyotiraditya Scindia who asked for a CBI inquiry into the case, suggesting that he considers the accused Irfan to be innocent.
Many right-leaning pages too shared this fake news too.
चांदी की थाली में चाटने वाला मंदशोर कांड की सीबीआई जाँच की मांग कर रहा है जबकि मामला स्पष्ट है
अपने सगे पिता के नहीं हुए पर 2 बलात्कारी जिहादियों के हो गए वाह ज्योतिरादित्य सिंधिया
All the claims was refuted by Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala while speaking to AltNews, he said, “He never made this statement but called for a CBI enquiry to punish all those involved in the crime.”
भाईयो क्या के रहा है ये पप्पू । इसके बारे मे दो सब्द कहे
This fake was also shared by BJP All State, which was then shared by over 2,700 more people.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi was threatened by a man with the rape of her 10-yr-old daughter for a fake quote that was attributed to her. The man was then arrested after Home Minister Rajnath Singh intervened.
Video which led to mob attacks in Maharashtra
Five people were lynched in Dhule district of Maharashtra on suspicion of being ‘child lifters’ on July 1. The incident took place in the tribal hamlet of Rainpada in Sakri taluka, about 325 km from Mumbai. The mob of 30-35 people also comprised children.
As per a report by NDTV, the mob one of the videos that led to this mob lynching was from Syria. Managing Editor of Boomlive.in, which called out the video, said, “This hails from 2013 from a nerve gas attack that had happened in Syria. The bodies that you see are of Syrian children”. The said video showed rows of children’s bodies. The video has narration in Hindi saying that these bodies were of children killed by gangs for harvesting their organs. In reality, the bodies showed in the video were of kids who died five years ago of a nerve gas attack in Syria.
Barely ten hours after five people were lynched in Dhule district of Maharashtra, another incident of mob vigilantism was reported in Malegaon, Nashik, where five persons, including two women and an infant, were attacked by a mob after rumours that they were trying to kidnap a child. The quick thinking of a fruit seller and his uncle helped saving the lives of those five. As per a report by BoomLive, the videos which are suspected to have led to the attacks were traced to Karnataka and passed on as those to have happened in nearby areas in Maharashtra.
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.