The curious case of S Gurumurthy and Hoaxes

Almost everyone on social media has fallen for hoaxes and fake news at some time or the other and ended up sharing it further. There are some who fall more often than others. There are some who fall even when the hoaxes are screamingly fake. Whether it is deliberate propaganda or shared inadvertently, it is always interesting to see the reaction after learning that the news was fake. On one hand we have those who apologize, retract and express regret and on the other, we have those persist and watch it being spread by their followers. Alt News brings you the interesting case of S. Gurumurthy, co-convener of Swadeshi Jagran Manch.

BJP president Amit Shah with S. Gurumurthy, co-convenor, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, at the Devendrakula Velalar conference in Madurai
BJP president Amit Shah with S. Gurumurthy, co-convenor, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, at the Devendrakula Velalar conference in Madurai [Courtesy Hindu]

Mr. Gurumurthy has repeatedly fallen for fake news. Here are a few examples:

1. Sharing the news that Angola has become the first country to ban Islam, Gurumurthy wondered about how liberals will react while. Little did he realize that he was sharing a hoax. The fake news has been doing rounds since 2013, re-emerging every now and then, thanks to people like Gurumurthy. You can read more about it in this BBC article. No, liberals did not cry as Gurumurthy expected. They probably had a good laugh.

2. Gurumurthy played the classic “If true” trick while sharing an edited video of Rahul Gandhi. “Listen and think for yourself”, he said. Think for yourself who would fall for such a clearly doctored video and refuse to acknowledge his error even after he is made aware that it is “not true”.

The video was originally shared by @superlonday as a joke. Gurumurthy and the thousand people who shared his tweet clearly missed it.

3. Guess who fell for the nano chip in the Rs 2000 note? Yes it was Gurumurthy again. Being a big believer in the benefits of demonetisation, this too must have sounded entirely believable to him.

He also believes we will soon see this feature in new notes.

4. That is not all. Gurumurthy has even shared fake news about AR Rehman. “Just read and share” he said and nearly 2800 people did just that without applying their mind. The fact that the poster was shared by Postcard News, a known peddler of fake news was also not a hint to Gurumurthy that it is fake.

You can read the fact-check by SMHoaxSlayer on this fake news here

5. What is left after you have fallen for Postcard New? Yes, The Onion! Gurumurthy believes that too if it confirms his worldview. “Ancient Greeks didn’t exist, historians made them up”. If you are looking to see who would believe the spoof, look no further, you have found your man.

From GPS chip in Rs 2000 note to Postcard News memes, it is ironical that one of the most regarded right-wing ideologue and prolific political and economic commentator repeatedly falls for the most obvious hoaxes.

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