Three doctored video clips doing the rounds on social media are believed to largely be responsible for the recent upsurge of mob violence that left nine dead and 10 injured within 25 days in Dhule, Maharashtra.According to a report by The Indian Express, one video shows two men on motorcycles picking up a boy; another one shows women putting on burqas while walking on the road with a “kidnapped” child following them; and the third shows a boy telling reporters he was kidnapped from Buldhana.However, investigations launched by the police in the different cases indicate that these videos either do not belong to legitimate locations as listed in WhatsApp forwards or were somehow edited in a way that the content was distorted.All the three videos misrepresent incidents of kidnapping in order to create panic.Harsh Poddar, Additional SP, Nashik Rural, told The Indian ExpressAfter Lynchings in India, 10 Tips From WhatsApp to Spot Fake NewsVideo 1: Men On Motorcycles Kidnapping ChildThe most shared of the three videos is the one that shows two men allegedly approaching a group of children playing outdoors, picking up one of them and riding away.Based on the information accompanying the video on WhatsApp forwards, the incident seemingly took place in India, the report says.The video is actually part of a 2016 campaign to raise awareness about missing children put out by an NGO in Karachi.As a result of the original video, ten children were reunited with their families, a spokesperson for the Karachi-based NGO Roshni Helpline told The Indian Express.We have been absolutely appalled by how this video has been misused and the tragic consequences that have followed. The clip used in the WhatsApp messages in India has been edited to remove the context and messaging. Spokesperson for Karachi-based NGO Roshni Helpline to The Indian Express“We request the public at this point to be vigilant and follow the new norms of verifying content that appears on social media...We also don’t want the abuse of this video to detract from the very serious issue of missing children in India or Pakistan,” the NGO said in a statement.23 Arrested for Lynching 5 Persons Over WhatsApp Rumour in DhuleVideo 2: Burqa-clad Women Followed by “Kidnapped” ChildAnother video that was widely shared in Malegaon, in Nashik district, showed a group of women walking down a road, changing into a burqa, and a child – believed to be kidnapped – following them.As a result of this video, several incidents of mob-lynching in Dhule, including the one on which a group belonging to the Gosavi nomadic tribe was attacked by locals in Malegaon, were reported.It wasn’t even a case of kidnapping, but the video was spread with the claim that the women are kidnappers and that the incident had taken place in Nandurbar, which is close to Malegaon. However, we found that the actual location of the video is Bengaluru. Harsh Poddar told The Indian Express Dhule Lynching Aftermath: Rainpada Village Wears a Deserted LookVideo 3: Child Kidnapped by Man in BuldhanaIn the third video that did the rounds on WhatsApp in July, a man travelling with a child is seen being stopped and arrested by the police in Shirdi, as the child tells journalists that he was kidnapped by the man in Buldhana.However, police investigations reveal that the edited clip omits the part where the boy later retracts his story and confesses that he had willingly accompanied the man, who is a family friend, to Shirdi from Buldhana, and framed him because his family owed money to the man.These aren’t the only cases of fake news content leading to an outbreak of violence in the country, often against the innocent and the defenceless.Several weeks ago, similar kind of misinformation had led an angry mob to kill two innocent young men in Assam, because they were believed to be “child-lifters”.(With inputs from The Indian Express.)Assam Lynching: When an Ignorant Wild Herd Killed My Friend We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.