Sri Lankans on Twitter expressed that the Indian Media are spreading fake news about the bombings which the Sri Lankan media haven’t reported about.
How quickly Sri Lanka's tragedy became India's election fodder is shocking. Our country is in grief and their media and (BJP) politicians aren't helping
— Indi Samarajiva (@indica) April 21, 2019
Shocked and disappointed to note Indian media and certain Indian politicians using Sri Lanka's tragedy for their own political advantage. #EasterSundayAttackLK
— Aruni Abeyesundere (@aruni_t) April 21, 2019
A temporary Social Media block is in effect in the Island nation since Sunday in the wake of the deadly bombings that have claimed over 290 lives and injured 500. Popular Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp were blocked in a move to curb the spread of “False News Reports”. Youtube, Snapchat and Viber are also experiencing a temporary block.
Twitter seems to be the only social media platform unaffected and is active and vocal in dismissing the fake news that is emanated.
Fake news #1: The names of the suspected suicide bombers from the serial blasts in Sri Lanka.
There is no official report ‘naming’ the suicide bombers. However, a few news sources have named the suspect as a certain Zahran Hashim claiming him to be the reported suicide bomber behind the attack at Shangri La Hotel. It also claimed, “According to top Intel sources, Hashim wanted to attack the Indian High Commission in Colombo on April 4.”
The Twitterati were quick to notice and brought this to attention that it is false news.
I say with complete responsibility after talking to media colleagues in #Srilanka that this is fake news.
The attackers have not been identified till this point, this Islamophobic propaganda started after a photoshopped document was shared on Indian twitter.#colombo https://t.co/11YyhcL71h
— Haider Talat (@haider_talat) April 21, 2019
Fake News #2: Majoritarian groups behind the Attack
Few reports and Twitterati alleged the blasts as a work of Majoritarian groups. However, the latest reports confirm the terror attacks are the works of Islamic National Thowheeth Jama’ath, who employed 7 suicide bombers to accomplish the series of coordinated blasts across the country.
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in the wake of curbing the spread of misinformation tweeted:
I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.
— Ranil Wickremesinghe (@RW_UNP) April 21, 2019
Here are samples of other Fake news reports posted by Twitterati:
— Md Asif Khan آصِف (@imMAK02) April 21, 2019
.@CNNnews18 & Aaj Tak https://t.co/bhnGzRk5e6 ran "ISIS behind #SriLanka blast" story based on a viral fake letter in Sri Lanka. Their fake report is being circulated on SM in India. Was this fake news aimed at creating communal fear among Indian voters? https://t.co/9fLrBMdsjT
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) April 21, 2019