Bengaluru: Karnataka Police on Thursday launched a dedicated fake news busting website, the state police chief announced.
"Launching now: Karnataka State Police FactCheck - Don't fall for fake news, factcheck.ksp.gov.in," tweeted Director General of Police Praveen Sood.
The verifying platform has listed a bunch of fake news which recently went viral, and refuted them with detailed explanations.
Calling out a fake video circulating on social media which claimed that Muslims were purposefully sneezing in the Hazrat Nizamuddin area in Delhi to spread coronavirus, Karnataka police said the video is a malicious message.
"Below post has been found as circulating on social media. It's a ritual in Sufism and the mosque is not Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah," explained the police about the video.The platform presented the video as a suspicious message or content and followed it up with the verification.
Police flagged the fake video for its false captions and suspicious nature. Vishwanath, a social media user thanked police for bringing out the truth and busting fake news.
"Thank you very much because we are blindly believing what we receive on social media," he said in the comment box on Thursday evening. Farhana Banu, another user said: "Dear Sir/Madam, thank you so much for clarifying that these videos are fake. Being Muslims we are mentally disturbed by seeing the blacklash by our friends online."
Tazim Rawat, another social media enthusiast said the clarifications are a big relief as it is becoming very difficult to answer people.
Similarly, other fake news making tall claims and misleading the masses which police have now busted included: 'Global Corona patient zero had sex with bats', 'Muslims licking utensils to spread Coronavirus', 'PM announced all India lockdown increased till May 4th' and 'Hanta virus is a new virus that spreads human to human'.
Karnataka police shared at least nine fake news items to show they were false. The police have invited public-spirited individuals to submit fake news for verification, asking details such as where he or she saw the fake news, website or app, and gave an option to submit audios, videos and images up to a size of 2 megabytes.
"Karnataka State Police has taken this initiative in collaboration with Check4Spam to counter rumours amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The citizens can utilize this portal to verify any suspected news and also upload the content for its verification and clarification," said the platform.
The state government is also attempting to bust fake news through its Telegram group run by the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR). Over 22,000 members in the group can put forward queries including news or rumours they have heard and a team of 30 volunteers working out of a control room in Bengaluru are fact-checking them. The state government also runs two websites - http://covid19dashboard.karnataka.gov.in/ - and https://covid19.karnataka.gov.in/kn/ dedicated to COVID-19 related updates.
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