Fake News has become extremely normalized and one of the downsides of social media is the velocity at which false information spreads. While mainstream fact-checkers dedicate the entirety of their resources towards fact-checking claims that tend to lean towards only one particular end of the political spectrum, the other side is often ignored.
Recently, a letter went viral on social media which was purportedly written by Suresh Soni, an RSS Karyakarta. According to the letter, the RSS demanded that the BJP withdraw Sadhvi Pragya as its candidate from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The letter remarks that Sadhvi Pragya’s ‘unnecessary remarks against a martyr is negating the political gains made through the Pulwama attack’.
An article based on the letter was published by a website called MediaVigil.
Even in the website’s own article, it is written that they could not confirm the authenticity of the letter from the sources they contacted. It begs the question, why they would publish an inflammatory letter when they could not even confirm its authenticity.
Intriguingly enough, a Karyakarta of the RSS had already tweeted that the letter was fake the day before MediaVigil published its article.
आजकल संघ विरोधी भ्रम फैलाने के लिए संघ अधिकारियों के नाम से फेक पत्र सोशल मीडिया में वायरल कर रहे हैं।ऐसा ही एक पत्र सह सरकार्यवाह सुरेश सोनीजी के नाम से वायरल हो रहा है।फेक का प्रमाण यह है कि लैटरहैड में स्वयंसेवक (स्वयं सेवक) अलग लिखा है।
झूठ चलाने के लिए भी अक्ल चाहिए।@RSSorg pic.twitter.com/MljbjCsf8R
— NARENDER KUMAR (@NARENDER1970) April 24, 2019
Under such circumstances, it appears bewildering that MediaVigil went ahead and published an article based on a letter the authenticity of which it couldn’t confirm itself and which was already called out for being fake a day earlier by an RSS Karyakarta on Twitter. Therefore, it appears to be a remarkable case of sheer incompetence on the part of the outlet or plain malice to create fissures between the RSS and the BJP while the elections are on.