Fake News We Wish Hadn’t Gone Viral in 2018: False propaganda to fan communal sentiments

“An avalanche of misinformation was shared on social media with an intention to mislead people, spread false propaganda and to fan communal sentiments. Social media users widely shared an image claiming it to be grand preparation by the Uttar Pradesh government for the Kumbh Mela. However, the image was not from Prayagraj but from Saudi Arabia’s Mina Valley……”

Defeating fake news emerged as big challenge for authorities in 2018. An avalanche of misinformation was shared on social media with an intention to mislead people, spread false propaganda and to fan communal sentiments. At least 25 people were killed by mob in separate incidents fuelled by fake WhatsApp rumours of child kidnapping. Following a spate of incidents, the IT Ministry released draft amendments, which suggest social media and online platforms would need to enable tracing of originators of information when required by government agencies that are legally authorised.

Here is our compilation of top fake news of 2018A viral video clip of Rahul Gandhi making a U-turn on loan waiver promise turned out to be fake. The video was mischievously-edited to spread misinformation. The misleading video shows Rahul saying ” loan waiver is not a solution.” However in the original video, Rahul said, “I have said this in my elections speeches too that loan waiver is a supporting step. Loan waiver is not the solution. Solution to farmers’ distress will be a much complex process. Solution will come by building infrastructure and technologies for farmers.”Social media users widely shared an image claiming it to be grand preparation by the Uttar Pradesh government for the Kumbh Mela. However, the image was not from Prayagraj but from Saudi Arabia’s Mina Valley.

Certain sections of the statue of unity with white markings was highlighted with a blue outline amid claims that cracks have developed on the statue which was inaugurated with much fanfare on 31 October 2018. However, it turned out the white markings were not cracks but points where individual blocks were joined.Controversial Canadian author posted an old video falsely claiming that Muslims were waving Pakistani flags after Congress win in the Rajasthan assembly elections. The video belonged to Uttar Pradesh and NOT Rajasthan as falsely claimed by Fateh. Also the flag in the video are actually representative of the ‘Indian Union Muslim League’

In June, several news outlets reported files of Nirav and Lalit Modi were feared gutted in a blaze at Mumbai Income Tax Office. The news expectedly was circulated widely on social media platforms. However, the income tax department later rubbished the report.

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