This year has been quite exhaustive in many ways – what with us losing so many of our favourite public figures and let’s not even begin talking about world (mis) affairs. But of the lot, there is one concern that has emerged globally demanding our immediate attention – that of an influx of fake or fabricated news. And the implications can’t be ignored or overlooked. In fact, the extent was so severe in some instances it is believed that it affected US presidential election and recently falling for fake news, Pakistan minister even issued a nuclear threat to Israel!
Apart from these global instances, there were always the series of fake news that was circulated in India like that of the new Rs 2000 note had a GPS chip or the false pictures of Jayalalithaa’s daughter. From WhatsApp to Facebook, the false news spread like wildfire online that most of the times, people almost believed it to be true.
Recently, the Queen Elizabeth II became a victim of hoax news as well. A fake Twitter account, resembling the British news agency BBC announced the death of the British sovereign. Owing to the fact that she was unwell and for the first time missed the Christmas event this year, people fell for the false news and alarm was created on the Internet. Given to the fact that 2016 have been harsh on so many people, people were less in shock and did not doubt the news at the first instance.
Many influential people and even journalists believed the news and retweeted it. While others assumed that the Queen has died but there was an embargo till 8 am next day. One ardent fan even rushed to the Queen palace to confirm and even posted a picture of the view outside.
However, all rumours were put to rest finally after The Sun reported a Buckingham Palace spokesman saying: “The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh continue to recover from their heavy colds.”
Nevertheless, it was a crazy session on Twitter. The tweet was eventually deleted and now the account has been suspended.
I just fell for a fake BBC account announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth II because it seemed obvious with this year.
— Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) December 29, 2016
— Frank Graves (@VoiceOfFranky) December 29, 2016
It is so 2016 that we all immediately believed that The Queen was dead because IT’S 2016.
— kat calvin (@KatCalvinLA) December 29, 2016
So there’s a unsubstantiated rumour the Queen has died but there’s a #mediablackout until 8am
Most likely BS but anything’s possible in 2016
— I am a meat popsicle (@Foo_fan_Shaun) December 30, 2016
— Charlie Archer (@1CharlieArcher) December 30, 2016
And finally, when it was confirmed that the Queen is till alive, funny gifs and memes followed. Sample these
The Queen is NOT dead.
— Richard Harris (@cigarboyrick82) December 30, 2016
— StrangeButTrueRadio (@strangebtr) December 30, 2016
Let’s hope 2017 will be better.