“कश्मीर की बर्फ़बारी में फँसे कांग्रेस नेता ने सेना से माँगी मदद, सेना ने माँगा फँसे होने का सबूत (Congress minister stuck in Kashmir snowfall asked army for help, army asked them for proof that they are stuck),“ is a message viral on social media.
Facebook groups and individual users on both Facebook and Twitter have widely circulated the message.
A quick scroll through the comments section of most of these posts is a testament to the fact that most people believed the message to be true.
The text viral on social media has been picked from a satirical article by Faking News. The title of the article is the same as the message.
कश्मीर की बर्फ़बारी में फँसे कांग्रेस नेता ने सेना से माँगी मदद, सेना ने माँगा फँसे होने का सबूत https://t.co/lD4htdVRQE
— Faking News (@fakingnews) March 18, 2019
Faking News specifies in its bio that it is a satirical website, yet people shared the title of its article as authentic news.
Some individuals also shared a photograph of people trying to push a jeep stuck in the snow, which was the same image used in the Faking News story. A Google reverse-image search led us to a free stock photos website that described the photograph as – “Car stuck in the snow – Mongolia”. It was uploaded on the website in 2013 by a user named Martin Vorel.
This isn’t the first time that social media users fell for a satire or a parody handle. Last month, a satire on Kapil Sibal regarding Mallya’s extradition was shared as authentic news. Recently, a tweet by a parody handle that scientists died in Karachi bomb blast was believed to be true by many. It is, however, simple to debunk such claims by searching for the message on Google.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.