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How Rajasthan Police is Using Social Media to Bust Fake News

By: Anurag Verma


Last Updated: June 27, 2018, 15:27 IST

How Rajasthan Police is Using Social Media to Bust Fake News

A welcome initiative.

A 45-year-old woman beggar was lynched and three others seriously injured in Ahmedabad on Tuesday when a group of nearly 30 people allegedly thrashed them on suspicion of being child lifters.

Rumours of a child lifting gang, mainly spread through WhatsApp messages, is believed to be the reason for the mob killing the woman.

No one has any idea where the messages originated from or who was the original sender, but before this incident, the fake WhatsApp message had taken 22 lives in one year.

Clearly, the fake news spreads like wildfire over WhatsApp chat groups and other social media platforms and the Rajasthan Police has decided to do something about it.

The Rajasthan Police has started a fake news awareness series to educate netizens about how it is spread and how it can be spotted.

"Starting a series on #FakeNews. Please follow these tiny yet significant tips.

What's fake news? It is news, stories or hoaxes which mislead you into believing the facts which are not true. Often #SocialMedia become easy carriers for spreading falsehood & distortion

@SMHoaxSlayer," Rajasthan Police's official Twitter handle tweeted.

In their tweet, the police tagged @SMHoaxSlayer, a Twitter account famous for busting fake news and also listed handy tips to spot fake news:

> Check if it is a credible source

> Read beyond the headlines

> Check the author

> Check the date

> Consult the experts

However, the police clarified later that they weren't collaborating with @SMHoaxSlayer.

"What a reassuring moment of a police department not only standing up against fake news but also appreciating who already do and calls for all joining hands for same," wrote a Twitter user.

According to Firstpost, the step by the Rajasthan Police could possibly be a response to a fake news that circulated in the name of Rajasthan Police on various social media platforms. The viral forward urged residents to stay cautious of medical students offering free blood tests because they belong to some "terrorist groups."

Unhappy by this, the police tweeted out a clarification and asked people to stay vigilant.

You can also check News18's initiative to spot fake news here.

first published:June 27, 2018, 15:05 IST
last updated:June 27, 2018, 15:27 IST