Fake News on rise amidst coronavirus lockdown; Ratan Tata issues clarification on fake news circulated on WhatsApp


Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons. Chairman and Tata Trusts, on Saturday took to social media to issue a clarification about viral fake news being attributed to him on WhatsApp. His stunning clarification came even as several big news channels faced public shaming for peddling fake news on coronavirus outbreak.

Ratan Tata

Tata wrote on Twitter, “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.”

The viral claim being attributed to Ratan Tata read in poorly-written English, “Experts are predicting huge down fall of Economy due to the Corona. I do not know much about these experts. But I know for sure that they do not know anything about the value of human motivation and determined efforts.”

It went on to add, “If experts were to be believed, after the total destruction in 2nd World War Japan had NO future. But same Japan in just 3 decades or so, made US cry at the market place. “If the experts were to be believed, Israel should have been wiped out from the world map by the Arabs, but the fact is different.”

The viral post also quoted him as saying that if the ‘experts were to be believed, we should have been no where 83 Cricket World Cup. (sic)”

“The corona crisis is no different. I do not have any doubt that We will defeat the Corona hands down and The Indian Economy will bounce back in a great manner.”

India has seen a steep rise in fake news with many TV channels being publicly shamed by authorities for their questionable reporting.

On Friday, the publicity wing of the Arunachal Pradesh government had caught Zee News of peddling fake news.

Earlier, the UP Police had caught Zee Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand of falsely claiming that members of Tablighi Jamaat had pelted stones on a medical team. The Firozabad Police in Uttar Pradesh had called it fake news peddled by Zee Media.

Days later, the Noida Police had caught news agency ANI of peddling similar lies as it claimed that four members of Tablighi Jamaat had tested positive in Noida’s Sector 5. The DCP Noida had shamed the news agency publicly terming the claim ‘fake news.’ This had prompted ANI to delete the news and issue correction.