when an India-Pakistan cricket match leads to a flurry of fake photographs of Muslims celebrating Pakistan’s victory, a communal disturbance is ripe for fake posts, morphed photographs and old images packaged as breaking news.
This round’s roll-call of shame includes:
- A still from a Bhojpuri film Aurat Khilona Nahin showing a goon stripping a woman being passed off as an on-the-ground report from Basirhat.
- An image of a bleeding couple was circulated as the hapless parents of the teenager whose Facebook post triggered the violence. It was actually an image from Bangladesh. It was shared by Gita S Kapoor, VP Mahila Morcha BJP, and someone followed by the prime minister.
- A photograph of a burning vehicle was sent out as part of a #SaveBengal protest campaign. That image was from the Gujarat riots of 2002 and used in the New York Times.
- After the death of Kartik Ghosh post-Baduria, the photograph of one Kartik Chandra Methia was shared as a picture of Ghosh. That was from a case in 2014 and five men were arrested for it. “Seeing the similarity in the names, Hindutva handles seized this opportunity to circulate an old picture to fan an already tense situation,” writes AltNews.
Fake news is not news anymore. But a few things were somewhat different this time around.