By Arré Bench Nov. 20, 2020
If you believe everything that appears on TV, then India carried out air strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir on Thursday. Our anchors were screaming war until the army intervened and rubbished the news.
Fake news on TV channels and social media has often had consequences in real life. In the past, it has led to rioting and people being falsely targeted. In a new low for Indian media, a handful channels on Thursday ran headlines that India has carried out targeted air strikes across the Line of Control (LOC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The message was even amplified by certain anchors with lakhs of followers on social media.
There was no air strike on PoK yesterday. The Godi media is misleading the country with the fake and fake news of IT cell. They should apologize to the country. #फर्जी_गोदी_मीडिया_माफी_माँगों pic.twitter.com/C94inTWiju
— Md Tahseen (@MdTahse84940943) November 20, 2020
Social media users started sharing screen grabs of news channels claiming Indian air strikes in PoK. The source of the news was alleged to be PTI. The story was based on analysis of the ceasefire violations that took place on November 13.However, instead of verifying the news, it was flashed in bold letters on TV and then shared by prominent anchors on social media. Deepak Chaurasia, Rubika Liyaquat, and Anjana Om Kashyap took to Twitter to announce how it was “the biggest operation till date” and “multiple terror spots were destroyed”.
— Naseeb Khan (@NaseebKhan7223) November 20, 2020
#POKAirStrik immediately started trending on Twitter with users celebrating the event and sharing memes about the success of the operation.
— π 🔥 ➐ (@IAmIndianHitler) November 19, 2020
— π 🔥 ➐ (@IAmIndianHitler) November 19, 2020
Even fake images were circulated.
Indian army retaliation:
Indian army created biggest disaster in POK, – Pakistan admits Indian army caused biggest bombing ever in Neelum valley.
GOOD, JAI HO Hindurashtra. pic.twitter.com/LyaSIrQ407
— Shyamal Ganguly (@ShyamalGanguly1) November 19, 2020
The spread of misinformation stopped when Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lieutenant General Paramjit Singh stepped in. He clarified that the Indian Army had not conducted any action in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. “Reports of Indian Army’s action in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) across the Line of Control are fake,” Lieutenant General Paramjit Singh said.
At a sensitive time in the border areas, the DGMO has to now take out time to call out fake news. That reflects quite poorly on the state of the Indian media.
Reports of Indian Army’s action in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) across the Line of Control are fake: Indian Army Director General of Military Operations Lt Gen Paramjit Singh
(file photo) pic.twitter.com/uHlULDWydh
— ANI (@ANI) November 19, 2020
Social media users demanded an apology as #फर्जी_गोदी_मीडिया_माफी_माँगों started trending on Twitter.
Along with the entire media troupe, the BJP it cell must ask forgiveness of the people of the country, have betrayed the confidence of the country and misled the people of the country. The country opposes such lousy man stream media. @HansrajMeena#फर्जी_गोदी_मीडिया_माफी_माँगों pic.twitter.com/ioP32q8xTf
— Ram Holkar (@RamHolkar) November 20, 2020
How long will the broker media keep seeing false news.
What this media is telling,While nothing like this has happened.
How long will these people keep spreading hatred.
For some money these people also sell their faith. So
— 🔥🔥 मिस्टर खान 🔥🔥 (@MohdUmair00786) November 20, 2020
It’s urgent need to take rigorous and an effective action against all the Godi media now playing with our national security, there are so many places to set the fake news propaganda, but at least stop involving yourself in defence forces strategy.
— Virendra kumar (@Virendr69180344) November 20, 2020
Journalist Shekhar Gupta said, “It will be sad if the next war is set off by fake news. It might just happen.”
PTI files a vague story, the warrior TV channels jump the gun & declare war on Pakistan. Now Army HQ is made to clean up the mess with rebuttals. It will be sad if the next war is set off by fake news. It might just happen.
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) November 19, 2020
Veteran anchor Rajdeep Sardesai also echoed that sentiment, fearing that “one day an Indo-Pak war will be sparked off in a TV news studio with false news”.
I fear that one day an Indo Pak war will be sparked off in a tv news studio with false news!🙏 https://t.co/3BGy8Yb1mX
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 19, 2020
The only war we need right now is the one against fake news.