For the last few years, the spread of fake news has increased manifold, and it results in serious problems in many cases, just as seen in the gathering of migrant workers at Bandra station in anticipation of trains after an ABP News journalist spread fake news that trains will be available after April 14.
There are few general guidelines like cross-checking or not forwarding forwarded messages to stay safe from fake news but there are also media houses and organization which are dedicated to the cause.
But, in India, sadly, the majority of the prominent fact-checkers are left-leaning. People like Pratik Sinha, who heads Alt News- the most prominent fact check website- are self-declared secular and socialist. The same goes with other prominent independent fact-checkers like Boomlive, which are sponsored by International fact-checking network, and fact checks of left-leaning media organizations.
Therefore, most of the flagged fake news that comes out in the public domain is the one reported by people from the right side of the political spectrum. The fake news spread by leftist media houses, twitter handles, Facebook and Instagram pages are seldom marked.
BJP IT cell is the main target of the fact-checker. In fact, BBC, which itself carries its colonial agenda and had spread fake news about so-called third world countries to protect the interest of empire, did a story about the major fake news peddlers and argued that most of these handles are pro-BJP.
But, a few weeks ago, the Public Information Bureau started PIB fact check service. The handle became very active to fight against fake news spread on Corona.
And if one analyzes the fake news flagged by PIB fact check, most of the fake news is being spread by leftist media houses. In fact, most of the fake news comes from extreme left media houses like Scroll, The Caravan, The Indian Express, Newsclick etc.
In latest, PIB fact-checked a story by Scroll, which argued that in Bihar children are eating frogs because they have no food. The news came out to be fake.
“Claim: Scroll -a prominent media portal has claimed children in Jehanabad, Bihar are eating frogs as they have no food at home. The video has since gone viral. #PIBFactCheck: The claim is false as inquired by Jehanabad DM, there is sufficient food in the homes of the children,” tweeted PIB Fact check.
Claim: Scroll -a prominent media portal has claimed children in Jehanabad, Bihar are eating frogs as they have no food at home. The video has since gone viral.#PIBFactCheck: The claim is false as inquired by Jehanabad DM, there is sufficient food in the homes of the children pic.twitter.com/GwXlSCVwHD
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 20, 2020
PIB has also fact-checked a claim by Caravan magazine’s ultra-left and ultra stupid health journalist Vidya Krishnan who claimed that Modi government did not consult ICMR before taking the key decision.
“Claim: Caravan magazine has claimed that PM@narendramodi did not consult the 21-member scientific #COVID taskforce before extending the lockdown Reality: All decisions were taken after consulting the taskforce,” tweeted PIB.
Reality : All decisions were taken after consulting the taskforce.
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 15, 2020
It also flagged fake news on cut in salary of railway employees, spread by the leftist media house.
It is being reported that a 20% cut in Central Government Pensions is being planned. This news is FALSE & BASELESS. There will be no cut in pension disbursements.
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 19, 2020
PIB also busted the fake news story by Indian Express which claimed that COVID-19 patients are being segregated based on religion in a hospital in Gujarat. “The Health Deptt.of Govt.of Gujarat has clarified that no segregation is being done in civil hospital on the basis of religion.Corona Patients are being treated based on symptoms, severity etc.and according to treating doctors’ recommendations,” tweeted PIB’s Gujarat unit.
The Health Deptt.of Govt.of Gujarat has clarified that no segregation is being done in civil hospital on the basis of religion.Corona Patients are being treated based on symptoms, severity etc.and according to treating doctors' recommendations.
— PIB in Gujarat (@PIBAhmedabad) April 15, 2020
PIB mostly fact checks government-related news. The unit was started on November 29 last year and it has been just 4 months, but the PIB fact check has exposed big media houses like Scroll, The Caravan, which are aligned to left and spread fake news mostly to defame the government.
On April 2, a separate unit was set up under the leadership of PIB chief to focus on fake news spread on Corona. “The unit will receive messages by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to send responses in a defined time-frame. The official version of any news on COVID-19 can be obtained from the Unit,” said PIB.
Leftist media houses, whose only aim is to create chaos and anarchy in the country, and are wishing that the government fails in the fight against Corona are getting exposed by PIB fact check.