One of the many insidious ways in which fake news gets passed around as fact is through WhatsApp forwards. These have become a notorious source of false information that can sometimes lead to all manner of incorrect and even dangerous public perception. However, the least new channels are expected to do is fact-check their own WhatsApp forwards before reading them out live on TV.
A video posted on Twitter shows Times Now’s lead anchors Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivshankar reading out the names of 30 apparently deceased Chinese soldiers from a fake WhatsApp forward.
They can clearly be seen reading the exact words from WhatsApp.
This is how @TimesNow anchors @navikakumar and @RShivshankar read out names of 30 Chinese Soldiers after they received a fake WhatsApp forward. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/j9wNppj0X3— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) June 17, 2020
Apart from the fact that they are reading unverified news straight off WhatsApp live on air, it was also found that the source of this information was fake and there has been no such news of Chinese casualties.
People online slammed their shoddy journalism.
Our university never disappoint.. 🤦♂️— Whats Appp University 🌐 (@Whats_appp_uni) June 17, 2020
And then TimesNow says they’re the most credible journalists…🤣🤣🤣— Self Reliant (@SelfieReliant) June 17, 2020
There are so many eggs on their faces by now, they must be having them for lunch and dinner by now.
These TV Channels will stop their broadcasting if whatsapp is stopped working.— Sam (@SamJersian) June 17, 2020
No Sun Tzu and Mao on the list.— Enkidu (@Fallibilist1) June 17, 2020
Atleast jack ma deserved to be included— Faisal Malik (@FaisalM747) June 17, 2020
How do they manage to read out on air from a whatsapp forward with a straight face!!!— Manu Sebastian (@manuvichar) June 17, 2020
And they made a fool of themselves infront of the National media!— Mohammed Waseem (@waseem33) June 17, 2020
Kal se humbhi journalist (Whatsapps University Entire Political Science )— M (@smasdaque) June 17, 2020
Even china does not have that much information..— Kim Jong Un (@noiamnotdead) June 17, 2020
In the current climate, it’s doubly important to be sure about the news you’re reading, and to make an effort to verify everything. Gaffes like this can lead to more serious issues in the dissemination of news.