WebQoof Recap: From Targeting Shaheen Bagh Women to COVID-19 Scare

Here’s a weekly quick round-up of all the WhatsApp forwards and fake tweets that you fell for this week!

4 min read
WebQoof Recap: From Targeting Shaheen Bagh Women to COVID-19 Scare
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From discrediting Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh women who have been protesting against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, to the fake news around the novel coronavirus which has found its presence in India among 31 patients, here’s a quick round-up of all the WhatsApp forwards and fake tweets that did the rounds this week!

1. Delhi Violence Relief Video Used to Malign Shaheen Bagh Protests

A video which shows women standing in a queue and receiving money, was massively shared on social media with a claim that the incident happened in Shaheen Bagh and Rs 500 was distributed to the women in the area to protest.

However, The Quint’s WebQoof team found out that the video is neither from Shaheen Bagh nor are the women being paid to protest. The video is actually from Old Mustafabad area and the women, who had moved to this locality after the violence in Shiv Vihar, were being given relief material.

We spoke to Shahzad Malik, a local businessman in the area, who was seen distributing the money in the viral video. Malik told us that he gave the money to the women after the relief material got over.

We also got in touch with Saira, the woman who shot the video, and she told us that the incident happened on 28 February and the viral video was shot by her.

You can read the full story here.


2. Message on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Neither From UNICEF Nor Accurate

With 31 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in India, there is a barrage of misinformation around the outbreak. One of them being a viral WhatsApp message attributed to UNICEF that claims to reveal the size of the virus, its duration of presence on somebody’s hands, among others.

The Quint can confirm that the guidelines mentioned in the viral message are misleading and have not been issued by UNICEF. You can find the list of UNICEF guidelines on coronavirus here.

You can read the full story here.


3. Harsh Mander Instigated Violence in Jamia? No, Video is Clipped

A speech by activist Harsh Mander from 16 December 2019 outside the Jamia Milia Islamia University is being circulated online to claim that the activist is instigating violence in the national capital.

The 00:55 second video has been shared by the likes of BJP IT-Cell Head Amit Malviya who hit out at Mander and said, “This man Harsh Mander, who wrote the draconian CVB, is in HC to get FIRs against people for hate speech... And a judge gave him midnight hearing!”

The archived version of the tweet can be viewed here.

We found that the viral video is a clipped version of 07:37 minute-long video. He makes the remarks heard in the viral video at 04:31 minutes. But at no point can he be heard instigating violence.

You can read the full story here.


4. Case From MP Shared as Girl Found Dead in Tahir Hussain’s House

Absconding AAP councilor Tahir Hussain was arrested by Delhi Police on Thursday, 5 March, after a Delhi court dismissed his plea seeking to surrender before it in connection with alleged killing of Intelligence Bureau official Ankit Sharma during the recent violence in northeast Delhi.

Earlier this week, an image was circulated online to claim that the body of a young girl was found in Hussain’s basement and she has been identified as a 13-year-old Jyoti Patidar.

The picture of the girl is actually from Madhya Pradesh’s Susner. The 18-year-old girl had allegedly killed herself in her house while her mother and aunt had gone to the fields.

The Quint spoke to Vivek Kanodiya, Station House officer (SHO) of Susner police station who confirmed to us that the incident had happened in Parsulya Kalan village and that the police is investigating the case.

You can read the full story here.


5. Coronavirus: How Tech Companies Are Dealing With Fake News & Lies

From its origin to its symptoms, prevention and cure, all aspects of the viral outbreak have been dogged with fake news and misinformation being shared on social media.

The big challenge, however, is for tech companies like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram to find effective ways to counter this deluge.

Image used for representational purposes. 
(Photo: The Quint/Aroop Mishra)

Here’s how global social media giants are trying to limit and counter health misinformation in the wake of coronavirus outbreak:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the social network is stepping up its efforts to combat virus-related misinformation by giving the World Health Organisation (WHO) free advertising. The social networking site listed a three-point approach to counter fake news: Limiting Misinformation and Harmful Content, Providing Helpful Information and Support, Empowering Partners with Data Tools.

The Quint reached out to Twitter officials who informed us that In India, Twitter has launched a dedicated search prompt with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and WHO to ensure when an individual searches a hashtag they're immediately met with authoritative health information from the right sources up top.

You can read the full story here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on Whatsapp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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