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Fake News On Killing Of Coronavirus Patients In China Gets Debunked, Read On


14 February 2020

Chetna Patnaik


Bhubaneswar: There were 242 new deaths reported due to novel coronavirus, which is now known officially as Covid-19, with number of infections jumping to more than 14,000. And equally dangerous is the scare created with rumour-mongering on the social media circles.

Among the several false claims circulating in the social media was one where Chinese policemen were seen killing Coronavirus patients en masse in Wuhan, the centre of the epidemic. A claim was made that the killing was sponsored by the Chinese government to stop the spread of the disease.

Here is one of the several tweets posting the same video:

A leading fact-checking site BOOM conducted an in-depth investigation and found that the video was actually a carefully edited mash-up of three videos. The three videos were unrelated to each other and two of them were not related to the Covid-19 epidemic.

OMMCOM NEWS spoke at length with Nivedita Niranjankumar who with Swasti Chatterjee successfully debunked the said video.

 “It was a difficult video to fact-check. This was a combination of all the techniques we use to fact-check like reverse image searching, breaking down the video and keyword searches. The easiest part was recognising that this was actually three videos combined. Our difficulties began after this step,” said Nivedita.

Nivedita with Swasti carefully analysed the audio and video parts separately scene by scene. They took the help of language experts and Chinese social media experts to ascertain the parts of the video. It took them all of three days to come to the conclusion that the video was actually false.

Involved in fact-checking of several such posts on social media, Nivedita advises to take a pause and study the post, image or the video and make sure of its authenticity. She also asked the viewers to a basic fact-check before believing or forwarding any post. A viewer can search for any related articles to verify its legitimacy.

Nivedita Niranjankumar, Deputy News Editor (South), BOOM