Former Rajya Sabha MP Shahid Siddique has been trolled on social media for sharing a video on his Twitter profile of a woman holding a child between two express coaches.
Believing it be India, Siddique tweeted, “Look at this mother travelling on a goods train with a child. For her risk of dying like this is less then dying of hunger in a heartless city. This can happen only in India (sic).”
While the video is heart-wrenching, it never happened in India, as Alt News pointed out. The video dates back to 2016 and is actually from Bangladesh. However, thanks to the power of social media, particularly WhatsApp, fake news has been rampantly shared, breaking the thin line between what is real and what’s not.
Earlier, Boomlive had published a report and found that the viral video was uploaded by Bangladeshi newspaper Prothom Alo’s YouTube channel on September 13, 2016. The Bangla caption of the video reads “Eid means returning home physically or mentally.
When this story was published, Siddique had not taken it off his Twitter timeline.
Interestingly, Section 54 of the National Disaster Management Act penalises those who issue a ‘false warning’. Whoever makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic, shall on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment may extend up to one year with fine.
Interestingly, the Cyberabad Cyber Crime Police recently registered a criminal case against a Twitter user for allegedly sharing ‘fake news’ on social media platforms with the ‘intention of disrupting communal harmony’.
The netizen who goes by the name Major Neelam Singh (retd) and ‘theskindoctor13’ as their Twitter handle shared a forged newspaper clipping of a Hyderabad daily, with the headline ‘Cyberabad police bans the sale of oranges in the city'. The clipping also featured a photograph of police officials, including Commissioner VC Sajjanar at a press conference with oranges on their desk.
A press release from the Cyberabad police stated that the action was taken as the Twitter user mentions Cyberabad police banning the sale and consumption of oranges in the city as the saffron colour of the fruit hurts the sentiments of Muslims.
Meanwhile the ‘Skin Doctor’ shared a tweet stating, “Cyberabad police has filed a case against me for a satire. A satire they perceived as "fake news" despite a disclaimer. How absurd it is! Any lawyer friend who can help me with this? Also, one more request. If anyone can find out the FIR number so that I can proceed accordingly.”