WebQoof Recap: Of Presidential Debate & Fake News Around Hathras

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

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

From misleading and false statements passed off as facts during the US Presidential debate to misinformation shrouding the death of the 19-year old Hathras rape victim, here’s a quick round-up of all that misled the public this week.

1. Economy to Coronavirus: All That Was False in Trump-Biden Debate

US President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden’s first presidential debate was replete with several incorrect, misleading and out of context statements as the two candidates met in a socially-distanced arrangement in Cleveland on Wednesday, 30 September.

The debate was categorised into five topics: ‘The Trump and Biden Records’, ‘The Supreme Court’, ‘COVID-19’, ‘Economy, Race and Violence in our Cities’ and ‘The Integrity of the Election’, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

You can read our full fact-check here.

2. Unrelated Girl’s Pic Misidentified as Hathras Gang Rape Victim

The death of the 19-year-old Dalit girl from Hathras, Uttar Pradesh who had been allegedly gang-raped by four upper caste men, caused an uproar on social media with several users demanding immediate justice.

An image of a young girl standing in the middle of the fields in pink clothes has been circulating on social media, falsely identifying her as the victim. The brother of the victim told The Quint that they do not know the girl in the viral image.

WebQoof Recap: Of Presidential Debate & Fake News Around Hathras
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

Further we could trace the image back to 25 July 2018, when user Ajay had uploaded a picture on Facebook, demanding justice for alleged medical negligence, which led to her death.

You can read our fact-check here.

3. Unbridled Flow of Fake News on Telegram is Fuelling Hate in India

You know what is common to Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Telegram? They have all become breeding grounds for misinformation and conspiracy theories.

With over 400 million global subscribers, Telegram was introduced and is widely regarded as a competitor to WhatsApp. It can host up to 2,00,000 people in a private group as compared to 256 people allowed by WhatsApp and there are several public channels which can be accessed by anyone and everyone using the app.

Perceived as one of the safest communication channels, Telegram prevents data breach to a great extent, but these features namely — high broadcast potential, robust security apparatus and unchecked public groups — make it extremely difficult to monitor the flow of mis/disinformation and hate speech on the platform.

Read our fact-check here.

4. Deepika Wore T-Shirt Supporting Farmers? No, It’s an Altered Image

An image showing Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone wearing a T-shirt supporting farmers is being circulated with the claim she wore the outfit when the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) questioned her on Saturday, 26 September, in connection with the investigation into a drug angle in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

WebQoof Recap: Of Presidential Debate & Fake News Around Hathras
(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

However, the viral image is photoshopped and the original photo, that dates back to 2018, does not show any text written on it. Meanwhile, the actor was actually seen wearing a pastel brown palazzo suit as she arrived for the questioning on Saturday.

You can read our fact-check here.

5. Osama bin Laden’s Daughter Married Bhojpuri Singer? It’s Fake News

A newspaper clipping stating that Osama bin Laden’s daughter ‘Zoya’ is set to marry Bhojpuri singer, Pradeep Maurya, has gone viral on social media.

Speaking to The Quint, Maurya rubbished these claims, calling them “completely fabricated.” The woman in the clipping is actually Pakistani actress Syra Yousuf and we also found that public records of bin Laden’s family do not mention any daughter named ‘Zoya.’

WebQoof Recap: Of Presidential Debate & Fake News Around Hathras
(Source: Twitter)

You can read our fact-check 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.)

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