In the aftermath of election results being declared in the state of West Bengal in India, the state witnessed multiple incidents of post-poll violence. While this unfolded, social media was rife with messages condemning the violence and criticizing the Trinamool Congress, the party that won the election, for the incidents. However, several images and videos shared in these messages were old, unrelated and used out-of-context.
Here is an example of how fact-checkers debunked a video which was falsely linked to the alleged rape of a woman in Pingla, West Bengal. Members of Ekta found the video is not from India, but from Bangladesh. Moreover, fact-checkers had also reported earlier in the week that the incident mentioned in these messages was not a case of post-poll violence. Read Ekta’s fact-check reports debunking these viral posts.
“BOOM was able to ascertain that the video is from Bangladesh as people in the viral clip can be heard speaking in a heavy Eastern Bengali accent. We broke the video into key frames and ran a reverse image search on a few of the frames. We were directed to a Bangladeshi Facebook user named Rahmat Ali Helali's post featuring a longer version of the same video that was uploaded on April 27, 2021.” BOOM also found media reports from Bangladesh which said that the incident was related to an inter-religious marriage in Daulatkhan in Bhola, Bangladesh.
Factly debunked the message in Telugu which claimed that Trinamool Congress activists abducted a Hindu girl in West Bengal. The report cited the longer Facebook video and media reports to counter the false message.
WebQoof’s report flagged multiple viral social media posts on the same in Hindi and Telugu. These posts used captions such as “save Bengal from Mamata Banerjee” and “ Muslim gangs had the freedom to rape a Hindu girl in broad daylight and kill her in Bengal” to flare up emotions and enmity.
Vishvas News addressed a Facebook post which shared the video with a claim in Hindi that the girl was raped and murdered by the jihadi gundo 15-20 days in broad daylight.
These stories have been published as part of the Ekta News Coalition, a collaboration of six fact-checking organisations in India. Have you seen suspicious messages, rumours or misleading information shared on social media and on your WhatsApp groups? Drop your queries on WhatsApp tiplines of Ekta members. https://ekta-facts.com/
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