Civil war in Pakistan? Indian media trolled for spreading fake news
Indian media’s credibility took another blow when BBC reported that reports and videos shared by Indian media on civil war raging in Pakistan were fake
Unverified tweets and videos were picked by major media platforms in India like Zee News, CNN18 and India Today, which reported a raging civil war in Sindh (Pakistan) between provincial police and the Pakistan Army. The fake news was re-tweeted wildly in India. A deadly blast in Karachi caused by a gas leak added also added fuel to the sensational story.
BBC reported that a video purporting to show the clashes was shared by an account under the name of International Herald (Nothing to do with National Herald). International Herald, BBC reported, was registered under a now-defunct Indian company in 2018. It's had a Twitter account since 2015 which does not follow anyone but its followers include two leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The fake reports claimed that many police officers had died in the clash and that tanks had been seen on the streets. The fake video claimed to show some of the unrest and a group of people pelting stones. It wasn’t clear when the video was shot and where.
The BBC report also mentioned a Twitter handle @drapr007, which apparently had first tweeted the fake news and then followed it up by tweeting, “#Breaking: Heavy firefight between Pak Army and Sindh Police is going on in Gulshan-e-Bagh area of Karachi”.
Pakistanis had a field day trolling the Indian media and pointed out that there was no such area in Karachi. BBC said, “Despite extensive digging by the BBC, it was not possible to establish who operates the Twitter account named @drapr007.”
Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that several Pakistani ministers and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has complained to Twitter and asked the micro blogging site to take immediate action against accounts spreading “false information against Pakistan”.
"In the wake of current smear campaign of spreading false and baseless information targeting Pakistan, its cities and institutions, PTA has stressed upon Twitter to effectively block handles involved in the campaign," PTA was quoted as saying in a press release.
The reports are said to have been triggered by reports in some sections of the Pakistani media, which claimed that troops had kidnapped the provincial police chief to force him to arrest a leader of the opposition.