Here’s a Round-Up Of All the Fake News Around JNU Protests
Amid the continuing protests in JNU, here’s a quick round-up of unverified claims being shared on the internet.
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Have you come across a photo of a 43-year-old JNU student who, according to several social media users, is studying alongside her daughter, Mona, at the university?
Or a post identifying this man as Moinuddin – a 47-year-old student from Kerala – who has been studying at JNU since 1989?
Or you may have heard an argument about JNU students being 'free loaders' who pay Rs 10 for their hostel room and that the protest is unwarranted?
Well, in light of the students of JNU protesting against the new draft hostel manual, unverified forwards such as these are circulating. They try to target, malign and discredit the protest.
The Quint's WebQoof Team has debunked at least five such stories in the last three days.
Fake News Targeting Students
Karuna Gopal, who identifies herself as a member of the sub-committee of the BJP National Manifesto, tweeted a post showing a woman having used a condom to tie her hair, claiming the woman in question is a JNU student.
Her tweet was retweeted by 1,500 users at the time of recording this video. But the claim in her post is false.
We found out that the image is a popular meme which has been in existence since 2016.
Coming to the person identified as 47-year-old Moinuddin from Kerala by social media users, who's been at JNU since 1989, let’s see if this is true.
Speaking to The Quint, the student identified himself Pankaj Mishra. He is 30 years old and is pursuing MPhil from JNU.
“It is being said that I am a 47-year-old student studying in JNU, but the information is completely wrong. My name is Pankaj from Allahabad and I am doing my MPhil here. This image has been retweeted by a lot of BJP leaders and RSS people to tarnish my image.”Pankaj Mishra, JNU Student
Fake News ‘Spree’ Continues
But misinformation doesn’t stop here.
This image of a CPI Leader Annie Raja from the CJI sexual harassement protest was passed off as the “oldest and the longest student loitering in JNU”.
The post by Twitter user called ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ is nothing but a fake post sharing a fake claim.
And this is exactly how fake news finds its way – at first, posts, messages, and pictures are circulated without verification and once they have made a mark in public memory, they are passed off as facts.
Take, for instance, this post about a 23-year-old student which was being circulated online with a claim that she is a 43-year-old studying at JNU. But when we contacted her she told us that her name was Sambhavi Siddhi and that she pursuing her Masters in French from the university.
How to Tell What’s Fake and What’s Not
Now, there are many red flags you can look for to know if a post, a news report or a video is fake.
But, the easiest way to know the veracity of a post is to question its source because fake news isn't just any other piece of misinformation, it is also very dangerous.
So, the next time you come across an unverified piece of information, think twice before you hit forward. Get to the bottom of the information first and if you're wondering how to do so, you can just share it with us and we will verify it for you.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)
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