In the day and age of social media, you are always connected to what is happening in the world. But at the same time, it is at times next to impossible to find the source of a viral video or story. Any picture or information shared on social media gets shared instantly, without anyone trying to verify the content. In such times, if a politician or a leader who has a sizable following among the masses shares something, it inevitably gets a stamp of authentication.
On April 19, BJP Minister Babul Supriyo tweeted an image of a ‘world-class bus stand in Rajkot’. He wrote: “This is not an Airport. It’s not in London or New York either. It’s the New Bus Stand inaugurated in Rajkot, Gujarat.” However, the leader soon realised the goof up that he had made. “The world-class bus stand” image that he had shared was just, in fact, an artiste’s impression. A building like this does not exist anywhere in the world, at least right now!
This is not the first time that a politician or an official has been caught on the wrong foot. Here are some instances when politicians goofed up in knowing the difference between what is real and what is fake.
1) Fake image of Keshav Prasad Maurya’s daughter: People were standing in huge lines outside banks when the demonetisation decision was announced. At such a time, Congress IT Cell member Gaurav Pandhi and AAP MLA from Janak Puri shared a picture of a girl called Nalini Maurya. It was claimed that she was the daughter of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Keshav Prasad Maurya. What was controversial was the fact that she was holding a stack of Rs 2,000 notes when individuals could only withdraw Rs 4,000. Maurya soon came out and clarified that this girl was not his daughter but an RBI employee.
2) When Sambit Patra showed a photoshopped Tricolour: During a debate on a news channel, BJP leader Sambit Patra showed an image of a tricolour on his tablet. The image showed six soldiers hoisting an Indian flag which Patra claimed were ” Indian soldiers dying, but holding up the tricolour, at the border”. The fact was that the image was a photoshopped version of the US flag.
Now @sambitswaraj shows a photoshopped image of Rosenthal's iconic Iwo Jima pic, says "LOOK at our Indian soldiers!" pic.twitter.com/M0H07fdubl
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) February 18, 2016
3) When BJP sought votes for roads built in Canada: Recently, the BJP tweeted a picture complementing the South Delhi Municipal Corporation for work done in the national capital. What drew attention was the fact that it was a click of Richmond City of Canada which was misrepresented as a Delhi street. The Tweet said the BJP Municipal corporation “replaced 2 lakh Sodium Street Lights with LED lights”.
4) When PIB tweeted Narendra Modi’s wrong picture: Press Information Bureau faced mockery when it tweeted an edited image of PM Narendra Modi surveying deadly Chennai floods. In the image, the PM can be seen looking through the plane window, with submerged fields and buildings visible. What caught the attention was the fact that the PIB itself had tweeted the same image a few hours back but with a less clear view through the window.
Photoshop Gujarat Model successfully implemented at Centre. PIB tweets Photoshop pictures. Well Done !! pic.twitter.com/FMzezWM6Cy
— Navin Khaitan (@navinkhaitan) December 3, 2015
5) Digvijaya Singh tweets morphed image of Amit Shah: Singh tweeted a morphed image of BJP President Amit Shah bending and welcoming AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi. However, while tweeting the picture he mentioned that he felt that the image was morphed because Owaisi was wearing a saffron coat, but also added that it could very well be true. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal too tweeted the picture asking “Is it true?”.
Someone sent me this picture. Looks morphed as Asad won't wear a saffron waist coat. But now days you never know! pic.twitter.com/VixhI6joN2
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) February 17, 2017
Not just in India, the United States and other countries too are facing the heat of fake posts. Facebook has taken cognisance of fake news being circulated on the social media platform and is coming up with a plan to combat it.