Fake news is something that is increasingly becoming a major concern for the society the world over. Such is the situation that even Facebook has a special section aimed at helping users to spot fake news. While most of the fake news comes from unverified WhatsApp forwards, which then makes its way to social media, it is alarming to note that some of the most responsible individuals often forget to verify the information before posting it on their social media handles. Politicians and journalists, especially, are the number one offenders among persons of influence who indulge, whether intentionally or inadvertently, in spreading fake news.
It is disturbing that such individuals do not care to verify information in their quest to take a shot at their political or ideological opponent. The best case in point is how some influential politicians, ‘intellectuals’ and journalists passed around a picture from a deplorable incident of violence on a woman claiming that it was from the ongoing agitation in BHU.
AntiRomeo squad entering into BHU campus in order to stop Girls from raising Anti National Demands like Safety of Girls in the Campus.(2017) pic.twitter.com/dyo2lF7QZc
— History of India (@RealHistoryPic) September 24, 2017
As of now, the lathi charge on female students at BHU is being discussed and debated on social media. Students in BHU are protesting against an alleged eve-teasing incident of Thursday. According to reports, the protestors wanted to meet the VC last night. They were prevented by the police, which then allegedly resorted to lathi charge.
Sensing an opportunity to score brownie points against the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, some prominent individuals started circulating an image showing an injured girl. All of them labelled her as one of the victims of the lathi charge.
But this is the reality of the picture. The girl is from Lakhimpur-Kheri in UP and she was allegedly attacked by a youth.
Many other influencers on Twitter condemned this spread of false information on a very serious matter:
— Yashwant Deshmukh (@YRDeshmukh) September 24, 2017
Mrinal Pandey, Prashant bhushan and Sanjay Singh all sharing one fake image about Lathi charge in BHU . Is this planned? Is this legal? pic.twitter.com/NNAZimgwRJ
— Kapil Mishra (@KapilMishraAAP) September 24, 2017
Not a single outlet reporting that AAP, Congress and senior journos tweeting fake images to spread lies about BHU.
— Sujoy (@CW_dynastycrook) September 24, 2017
इन भाई साहब से तो शर्म भी शर्म से पानी पानी हो जाए।👇 pic.twitter.com/I09rg6cyeR
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) September 24, 2017
The state of journalists and activists in India.
The joke is: Swati Chaturvedi writes against rumors and fakes stories of social media pic.twitter.com/2kEJo3fWd1
— Rahul Raj (@bhak_sala) September 24, 2017
Pic1:- Actual news
— Prateek Mishra (@bakchodified) September 24, 2017
All of them apologized for posting the fake image and took their tweets down. But that is not the end of the story.
A website which claims to bust fake news published an article on the same mentioning the names who posted the image but at the same time defended the influencers by stating that “at a time when one is outraged about an incident, it is easy to fall prey to fake images”. They concluded the article by writing that “we are glad to see that in this case, many have regretted their mistake and tweeted about it”. It should be noted that the same website had hounded Anshul Saxena over a meat angle in the Muzaffarnagar gang-rape incident even though Saxena accepted his error after the police pointed it out.
Twitterati thus charged the so-called ‘fake news’ busters for not commenting on this matter the same way they do when someone from the BJP-related camp or pro-government media does the same thing.
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) September 24, 2017
बस इतना ही अरे सर अब ये भी पोस्ट करो साथ मे की किस किस ने फेक न्यूज़ चलाया और आप इन सबको फॉलो करते हो pic.twitter.com/bBan1oUkCo
— Bhagat🇮🇳 (@nationalist1907) September 24, 2017
It should be noted that people are condemning the lathi charge on the students.
Very unfortunate !! Students getting thrashed for rational and basic demands… VC could have easily stepped in to avoid this..
— chandan sharma (@Chandan_2310) September 24, 2017
Sad to see what is happening in BHU. Girls were molested by bikers (near GAMCHA) during my time too. It was a known fact.
— Rahul Raj (@bhak_sala) September 24, 2017
— Aishwarya S Iyer (@iyersaishwarya) September 24, 2017
Husband,a pass-out frm IT-BHU says thre cnt b any denyng tht thre is excessive harassment of girls in #BHU campus for yrs! Time to wake up?
— richa anirudh (@richaanirudh) September 24, 2017
It is a matter of great hope that women in #BHU are fighting back. Violence against women is an epidemic in India. But women fighting back.
— HindolSengupta (@HindolSengupta) September 24, 2017