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WebQoof Recap: French Virologist’s Claims on Vaccines & More

Here’s a round-up of all that misled the public this week.

Published
WebQoof
5 min read
Fact-checks about COVID vaccine safety, Twitter “shutting down” in India, NYT’s front page and more.
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From false claims about a Nobel Laureate saying that all "vaccinated people would die within two years" to an old hoax about WhatsApp messages being tracked by the government, here's what misled the public this week.

1. Will All Vaccinated People Die in 2 Years? Viral Claim Is False

A viral message, attributed to French virologist Luc Montagnier, stating that all vaccinated people would "die within two years" was widely shared across social media platforms. The message also quoted Montagnier saying "it is the vaccination that is creating the variants".

WebQoof Recap: French Virologist’s Claims on Vaccines & More

(Image: WhatsApp/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

However, we found that Montagnier didn't say that all vaccinated people will die in two years. But he did build a case against vaccines and said that it was the vaccines that were creating variants.

These claims have been disputed by health experts who say that virus mutations are natural for viruses and are not caused by vaccines. Further, Montagnier has often been criticised by the scientific community for making factually inaccurate claims with no evidence to back them.

You can read the full story here.

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2. Do 3 Ticks Mean Govt Read Your Message? Old Hoax Goes Viral Again

A viral message claiming that the government is monitoring conversations on social media platforms resurfaced yet another time and was widely shared.

The message claims that new communication rules that will be 'implemented from tomorrow' will mean that the government will record and monitor messages and calls on social media and can arrest any person sending or forwarding 'bad' messages about religion or politics without a warrant.

WebQoof Recap: French Virologist’s Claims on Vaccines & More

(Image: WhatsApp/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

WebQoof Recap: French Virologist’s Claims on Vaccines & More

(Image: WhatsApp/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

We found this claim to be false as WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption on its platform. It explains it in detail on its website while also denoting what different kinds of tick marks on a sent message mean.

The Quint has debunked this false claim in the past.

You can read the full story here.

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3. Users Fall for ANI’s Fake Account Saying Twitter Shutting in India

A tweet shared by an imposter account of news agency ANI led to many believing that Twitter would shut down in India from Wednesday, 26 May.

The tweet shared by ‘@ANINewsIndia’, the fake account, read: “#Breaking...Twitter will stop operations in India w.e.f 26th May 00:00 hrs. Use of any VPN, third party API will be treated as criminal offence under section 437. (sic)“

WebQoof Recap: French Virologist’s Claims on Vaccines & More

(Image: Twitter/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

On comparing the official handle of news agency ANI with the imposter one, we noticed several differences between ANI’s verified Twitter account and this imposter account. For instance, the Twitter handle of ANI’s official account is ‘@ANI’ but that of the imposter one is ‘@ANINewslndia’.

The date that both accounts joined Twitter is also different, as the official account was started in 2011 and the imposter one joined in 2020.

You can read the detailed comparison and analysis here.

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4. No, ‘Pak Zindabad’ Slogans Weren’t Raised by ‘Rohingyas’ in Bengal

A viral video claiming that a ‘thanksgiving’ rally was taken out by ‘Rohingyas’ in West Bengal after winning the Assembly elections and that they had chanted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans.

The viral video was shared with a claim that the rally was taken out by ’31 Rohingyas' elected in the Assembly elections in West Bengal and questioned where ‘Secular India’ was leading people.

WebQoof Recap: French Virologist’s Claims on Vaccines & More

(Image: Twitter/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

However, we found that the claim was false and the video was from Uttar Pradesh's Bahraich district.

Further, the crowd was chanting ‘Haji Sahab Zindabad’ and not ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. This was after Haji Abdul Kalim won the recently held Panchayat elections in UP. A news report corroborated these details and added that the police had later registered a case against 100 unidentified persons for violating COVID-19 protocols.

Bahraich Police, too, issued a clarification about the location and slogans in the viral video via Twitter.

You can read the full article here.

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5. NYT Used Crocodile’s Pic to Say PM Modi Cried? No, It’s Fake News!

A viral image of the New York Times’ international edition published on Friday, 21 May, carrying an image of a crocodile on the front page with the headline: ‘India’s PM cried’ was shared on social media.

The image went viral following the Prime Minister’s address, where he got emotional as he spoke about how the second wave of COVID had put immense pressure on the country’s healthcare system.

WebQoof Recap: French Virologist’s Claims on Vaccines & More

(Image: Twitter/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

We found that the image was doctored to include the headline and the crocodile image. We compared the viral image to the New York Times’ international edition published on 21 May from NYT’s official website.

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 webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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