On January 31st 2018, an information was doing the rounds on WhatsApp. The information was tagged urgent and asked mobile, tablet PC etc. users to put their devices away from their bodies on the night of February 01, 2018 (00:30 to 03:30). The information claimed to be based on a report telecast on Singapore Television ascribed high radiation hazard during the said period. The news was later found to be fake or hoax. Although this fake news was time wasting and encouraged rumor mongering, it was not harmful.
Late last month, another information was circulating on WhatsApp. The information was very harmful. The information which was claimed to be based on a news report telecast on NDTV claimed that a Muslim man of so and so name has contaminated the latest batch of some cold drink brand with some biological contaminant (I think it was Hepatitis B infected blood) in Hyderabad. The information advised people not to drink the said cold drink. Later it was found that this information was fake. But such was the fatality of threat that even very well aware intelligent individuals were sharing this information among their friends and family.They are not to blame, for obvious reasons. But as said above, this news was very harmful. It was not only creating fear among people by using the names of one of the best news channels and sources (See NDTV’s Prime Time every night at 9 PM, it’s worth your time), it was creating harmful regional and religious biases among people.