Fake news rains as Karnataka goes to polls

Last Updated : 21 September 2018, 11:47 IST
Last Updated : 21 September 2018, 11:47 IST

Follow Us :


In the midst of the high-voltage Karnataka Assembly election campaigns, fake news raised its ugly head in an attempt to influence the voters. The new media and fact-checking websites, in spite of their limited reach, were able to bust some of the fake news.

When it comes to social media, some of the WhatsApp messages have been a major source of fake stories.

Here is a list of fake stories busted by fact checkers.

1. Amit Malviya tweets poll dates

The election campaign started with a huge controversy when BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya tweeted the elections dates before the official declaration was out. Though Congress cried foul, it was later found that a private TV channel had aired those dates before Malviya did.

2. Modi's speech on unelectrified households

News 9 on Feb 5 reported Modi, at a rally in Bengaluru, as saying: "7 lakh villages in Karnataka are living in dark." He was actually referring to 7 lakh households and not villages.

3. Fake news on money seized from BJP worker

Photos of money seized in Chennai in 2017 were released on Twitter and Facebook saying that this was Rs 120 crore seized from a BJP worker in Karnataka.

4. An incomplete story on crime rates

A selective comparison of states on crimes against Scheduled Castes was published as a story on a website to spread the narrative that Karnataka is no safe place for the community. Alt News reported that this was promoted by Union Ministers and members of BJP on social media.

5. Fake news about Mevani

The Bengaluru edition of a newspaper carried an incorrect news which said Jignesh Mevani was caught with 160 laptops from the campaign fray in Karnataka.

6. Union funds to Karnataka

Boomlive, a fact-checking website, did a comparison of NDA and UPA governments on providing union funds to the state. They fact-checked the claims of both the parties.

7. Fake polls

The campaign days also saw plenty of fake opinion polls. A fake US government survey predicted JD(S) win and a fake BBC survey predicted BJP win. An article claiming to be from 'Kannada Prabha' said that RSS pre-poll survey has predicted BJP loss in Karnataka. Boomlive reported that a Facebook page called ‘Karnataka Election Updates’ created fake pre-poll surveys for the state, constituency wise.

8. Dubious websites

Similar fake polls were carried by 'dubious' sites like http://bangalore-herald.com, BengaluruTimes.co, voiceofbengaluru.com and expressbangalore.com. All four websites, created in March 2018, has the same design and same stories - which are anti-government.

9. Malaysian woman as Bengaluru woman

The video of a harassed woman, from Malaysia, was shared on social media portraying her as a woman from Bengaluru.

10. Rajeev shares old video of Rahul

BJP MP from Bengaluru, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, shared a video of Rahul Gandhi criticising the Karnataka Chief Minister for corruption. The 2013 video, claiming to be a new one, said, "Here is @RahulGandhi exposing @siddaramaiah."

11. Fake email on Lingayat issue

Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy shared a fake email which claimed the involvement of the church in the decision of Karnataka government to grant minority status for Lingayat community.

Similarly, another 'news' on 'Postcardnews' website claimed that state minister MB Patil had sent a letter to Sonia Gandhi on the strategy for 2018 Assembly elections and for the 2019 General Elections. Patil "held talks with Global Christian Organisation and World Islamic Organisation to formulate the strategy," according to the letter. The letter was found to be fake by the 'Alt News'. 'Postcardnews' deleted the story from the site later. Earlier, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police arrested Mahesh Vikram Hegde, the founder of 'Postcardnews', in connection with the case against him for publishing fake news to create trouble.

12. Story on Pakistan flag

The Indian Union Muslim League flag, which was waved during the Congress election rally, was depicted as the Pakistan flag on social media.

13. Video of Modi's Varanasi rally

An old video of PM Modi's rally in Varanasi was shared on Twitter saying it was from his campaign in Udupi.

Published 11 May 2018, 12:02 IST

Deccan Herald is on WhatsApp Channels | Join now for Breaking News & Editor's Picks

Follow us on :

Follow Us