Recently, ShankhNaad, a page notorious for spreading false information and propagating communal tension, tweeted a picture of an elderly woman with blood trickling down her face. They claimed that it was the picture of a Hindu Keralite woman who was beaten up by Muslims. They also alleged that a temple was destroyed in the violence.
The tweet has been deleted by the page, but not before it was shared by thousands of people, including a fake account of actor Paresh Rawal.
केरल में एक हिन्दू महिला को पूजा करने की वजह से मारा गया और बेइज्ज़त किया गया ,मूर्ति तोड़ दिया शांतिदूतों ने ।।
The truth is far from what was being propagated on social media. This is a picture from October 2017 and it is from Bangladesh. A page called Suptodisha shared it on Facebook. The caption says that the woman is from a small village in Chittagong. She is alone and poor and her neighbours are influential. The neighbours, Pradip Ghosh and his son Biswajeet Ghosh, beat her up. Then the post goes on to seeking support for the helpless woman.
এই মহিলাটি চট্টগ্রাম জেলাধীন বাঁশখালি থানার অন্তর্গত উত্তর জলদী গ্রামের স্থায়ী বাসিন্দা নাম পঞ্চবালা কর্মকার। অসহায় ও…
ShankhNaad had earlier shared a post containing false details of the horrific Kathua rape case. They claimed that the girl was not raped, only murdered. The police and post-mortem report both mentioned clearly that the eight-year-old girl was found prima facie raped and murdered.
Another of their lies said that it was impossible for the girl to be raped inside a temple that is always crowded and in the middle of a street. The investigation had already revealed that the temple was in the middle of nowhere inside a forest. The girl was heavily sedated and kept inside covered. All the other points mentioned in their article were also false and refuted by The Quint.
In September 2017, ShankhNaad tweeted a video showing a blazing fire, stating that “Hindu temple, vehicle and cows in Gaushala were set on fire by Muslims mobs in Hyderabad.” The Hyderabad police confirmed that no such violence had taken place anywhere in the city
Another example of stoking communal disharmony — in October 2017, they put up a photo of a beheaded Swami Vivekananda statue and pinned the responsibility on Muslims in Badhohi, UP. The SP of Bhadohi, following these rumours, issued a clarification stating that one Premchandra Gautam had been arrested for the vandalism, and as the name suggests, he wasn’t a Muslim.
The way to tackle pages like ShankhNaad and alike is to not give them the power to influence. Every piece of information that we spot on social media can be verified, and this is how. Once we discover that a page or a group is propagating communal tension, hate speech or religious intolerance, we should report them.
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.