Controversial fact checker and Alt News co-founder, Mohammed Zubair, was awarded the Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award by the Tamil Nadu government on Friday for his dedication to promoting communal harmony through responsible reporting and fact-checking.
The award acknowledges Zubair's efforts in preventing the escalation of violence fueled by fake news. Notably, his fact-checking work on a viral video in March 2023, which falsely claimed migrant workers were under attack in Tamil Nadu, played a crucial role in dispelling rumours and averting potential violence.
Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award Details
The award, presented annually during the Republic Day celebration on January 26, is a testament to Zubair's commitment to communal harmony. The award includes a cash prize of Rs 25,000, a medal and a certificate, acknowledging Zubair's outstanding services in the field.
Why Was Zubair Awarded With Communal Harmony Award?
Earlier in March 2023, baseless rumours circulated, claiming that north Indian labourers were facing assaults and killings in Tamil Nadu. Zubair's fact-checking work during this period contributed significantly to countering the misinformation and maintaining communal harmony.
Legal actions were taken against various entities, including a BJP spokesperson, Hindi newspapers like Dainik Bhaskar, the right-wing website OpIndia, YouTubers and X users for spreading unrelated videos and falsely asserting an attack on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu.
Rumours Debunked By Alt News
Zubair's website, Alt News, fact-checked the video, concluding that the footage did not depict an incident in Tamil Nadu. By debunking the misinformation, Zubair halted the spread of false rumours against Tamil Nadu and helped prevent violence related to caste, religion, race, and language.
Mohammed Zubair's commitment to truth and responsible reporting has earned him this prestigious award, emphasizing the critical role of fact-checking in maintaining social harmony in today's world.