Doctor Aisha was a young, dynamic, South Africa based doctor who was being treated for corona virus. Her family members were posting regular updates on social media…For example: Her being taken to the ICU…and many prominent people on Twitter had replied on her posts praying for her speedy recovery. However, fate had decided against it…The news came out soon from family, once again on social media only, that Dr Aisha was no more..
Yeah…THAT was just fake news, you know? Doctor Aisha was merely a collection of stock images and someone behind all this had made a fool out of everyone…Even senior journalists of respected news channels!
There’s a lesson to learn here: People who invent fake news know how to play with emotions well and they champion a story around it aided by believable images from the internet. We also are so gullible that everything we see on social media we take it verbatim…Aren’t we, as responsible netizens, supposed to check facts before jumping to conclusions?
TRP vali fake news
Sometimes, a genuine story is forcefully made fake by adding multiple conspiracies and angles to it…just for the sake of taking in more eyeballs on the show.
For example, when Times Now anchor Navika claimed that Indian army had gunned down nearly 30 Chinese soldiers whose names she said were..Zen, Wu, Tao, Eii, Kong, Hei, Zi, Yong, Gu, Kaan, Tan, Feng, Zu, Chin…Well you get the idea?
Few minutes after uttering those made-up names on television, Times Now anchors realized that maybe…Maybe they overdid themselves this time just for the sake of TRP!! It turned out to be a fake Whatsapp forward that they thought was an official government record. Hence proved, whatsapp university cannot be relied upon!
Emotional vali fake news
2020 has already been tough on everyone on so many levels. People, therefore, do feel the need to read a positive story every now and then…However, fake news generators take advantage of these desires.
Take for example the drone boy Pratap NM who’s a 22 year old inventor of more than 600 drones which he made using only e-waste. Looks like a legit positive story with pictures of the poor boy beaming with a smile and a shining drone in his hands. He’s being invited to world drone conferences and DRDO has hired him.
This also turned out to be fake news! He was no hero…just a participant in drone competitions held across the world. He was no poor fellow…not someone had risen from rags to riches…He came instead from a well to do family who could afford to buy a drone and go overseas for related conferences.
Supreme court vali fake news
Fake news is being peddled even in the Supreme Court these days…well what can you say…this is the digital age after all! It so happened that the proceedings on what the government had done on the migrant crisis were in progress on 28th May, 2020.
Our Solicitor general, Tushar Mehta, said that these people (who were bringing this issue to public notice) were “armchair journalists” or “prophets of doom” so pay no heed to what they have to say. According to him, Centre had done enough for migrants during the lockdown.
Tushar Mehta goes on to give a whole example for his “prophets of doom” claim and why not, so he goes on to Twitter, shares a picture of a vulture sat behind a starving African child, and he writes: “This photograph taken in 1983 Sudan shows a panic stricken child and a vulture waiting for the child to die. The photographer was awarded Pulitzer Prize for it but he committed suicide 4 months after this.”
The reason, solicitor general claimed on Twitter, was that when the photographer was confronted by a journalist who argued that there were two vultures around the child…one behind it and one holding the camera…that statement had left such a deep wound in the heart of photographer that he could not bear to live with himself for longer.
This whole story which he also repeated in the Supreme Court was merely a fake whastapp forward…Can you believe it, again!? And more importantly, it is a job of journalist to report what the situation on ground is whereas the government is responsible for correcting the problem…what’s more, the photographer had committed suicide because of financial troubles and depression.
Sacking vali fake news
Suddenly, on 4th of June, a man named Asif Khan started to go viral because he had put up a disparaging religious post which infuriated people. It was found out that this person worked in Go Air and so GoAir was tagged on Twitter and it was demanded that strictest action be taken against him.
GoAir responded with a quick action…a notice that said Asif khan did work with them but his services were being terminated owing to the obnoxious post put up by him.
When investigation was finally conducted later and the real Asif Khan put up his post and showed his own Twitter handle, then it was found out that someone else had created an account to put up these blasphemous posts and the real Asif Khan had to pay the price for it.
Now, according to latest report, GoAir has revoked his termination. These fake news spread misinformation about a section of people in our society and make them seem like vilain or anti which is so not the case.
Jeb khali karne vali fake news
A clip surfaced in which the Mumbai Police was seen warning the people to not take calls from numbers starting with 140 because if they did so all their accounts would be emptied. People as gullible as they were took this viral clip quite seriously…Without realizing how money could ever be transfered without account number or OTP or CVV!?
Then it was later revealed that the clip was from a TV show on Sony LIV and it was just actors who played the police. Nobody who’d picked a call from the said number was in danger of bank fraud. This shows that fake news can also create a panic by inciting financial fears.
Bhoot vali faki news
A clip had gone viral across social media showing a mechanical gym machine operating on its own without stopping for over a minute. Many claimed it was ghosts exercising at night but nobody among them thought why’d a ghost need abs when it cannot even be seen!?
But that was just physics really…If the machine was oiled excessively and made to run once…the mechanics of it were such that it would continue to run for about a minute or two. The initial energy was put in so the machine had to go on for like some time…simple harmonic motion really. There was no supernatural element to it…just well within natural laws of physics!
Propaganda vali fake news
Retired Major General Brajesh uploaded a video to Twitter in which he claimed were India’s new Apache helicopters floating over Pangong Lake in Ladakh. Amar Ujala also published this news the next day. Later on, investigations revealed that the video was actually truly American and that the helicopters were patrolling over a lake in California.
Politics vali fake news
These fake news are generated to fulfil a political agenda and they have no limits. They misrepresent history, misinform the facts and misguide the public. For example even some government social media claimed that Shaheen Bagh protests were fake and money driven but the news turned out to be fake whastapp forward.
Fake news spread faster than truth and that is because they exploit our emotions and they harbor fears too real. In the day and age of internet this had to be the case but it is the duty of citizens to be aware of such false assertions, claims and statements. They must verify these stories, again, on the internet but from sources which are deemed reliable.