At a time when fake news are getting called out, fake images of real news are making rounds by people who seem to have vested interest in flaring violence. What is shocking is that this includes politicians and journalists who are expected to verify the facts instead of resorting to fear mongering.
Following the alleged lathicharge of the police on students protesting molestation on the Banaras Hindu University campus, there has been a lot of uproar on the incident on the same on social media. Lot of people have expressed their anger of using force on students. However, some prominent media persons and politicians jumped on to the opportunity to score their political brownie points by posting fake images of a girl allegedly beaten up by police at BHU.
Seems like everyone got the same WhatsApp forward message template with suggestive hashtags to be used with the accompanying image. None of them bothered to verify the image before taking liberties to blame the Modi and Yogi governments for use of force by the police.
However, reality is far from that. While there are reports that the police used excessive force on the students at BHU, the said image which everyone circulated is fake. It is lifted from another story where the girl was allegedly beaten up because of one-sided love affair.
One wonders at the intentions of the so-called prominent lawyers, journalists and politicians to indulge in spreading fake and unverified images, just to push their own political agenda.
While the self-proclaimed ‘antidote to fake propagandists’ Altnews did report that the image in circulation is not from the BHU, it failed to report the fact that that prominent anti-Modi people were the ones responsible for sharing that image in the first place:
Which is interesting since during the Basirhat riots in July this year, Altnews website was quick to name and shame the BJP leaders and other BJP supporters for sharing alleged fake images, which were not part of the Basirhat riots. But in the current case, Altnews has not called out leaders like former AAP leader Prashant Bhushan, AAP MLA Sanjay Singh, journalist Mrinal Pande, the abusive troll who doubles up as journalist Swati Chaturvedi, and AICC General Secretary and former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot for spreading fake images of an incident.
Update: Following criticism, Altnews was forced to carry a report stating the names of prominent people who shared the fake image.