“We are not just fighting an epidemic; we are fighting an infodemic”. These are the words of WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who asserted that “fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus, and is just as dangerous”. At a time when the world is struggling to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, fake news, unsubstantiated facts are doing the rounds on social media, adding to the problem.
Recently, former Chairman of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata, took to Twitter clarify that a quote on the coronavirus impact on the Indian economy was wrongly attributed to him. “This post has neither been said, nor written by me. I urge you to verify media circulated on WhatsApp and social platforms. If I have something to say, I will say it on my official channels. Hope you are safe and do take care,” said the billionaire philanthropist.
<p “width=420″ lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>This post has neither been said, nor written by me. I urge you to verify media circulated on WhatsApp and social platforms. If I have something to say, I will say it on my official channels. Hope you are safe and do take care. pic.twitter.com/RNVL40aRTB— Ratan N. Tata (@RNTata2000) April 11, 2020
After he called out the fake news piece, Ratan Tata explained that he will say it on his official channels, if he has something to say.
The quote, which was attributed to Ratan Tata, came down hard on ‘experts’ who predicted the ‘downfall of the Indian economy’. “I do not know much about these experts, but I know for sure they don’t know anything about the value of human motivation and determined efforts,” read the quote.
For those who are not aware, Ratan Tata is active on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Tata, who had joined the popular photo sharing app Instagram in October 2019, has over 2.2 million followers on the platform.
Meanwhile, in a bid to crack down on those who spread fake news, the Supreme Court has also said that Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 provides for punishment to a person who makes or circulates a false alarm or warning as to disaster or its severity or magnitude, leading to panic and that such person shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine.
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