While the entire country is fighting against coronavirus pandemic, fake news is creating havoc on social media pages and now even news channels are creating panic among citizens. This time prominent regional news channels are falsely claiming that Bengaluru city will soon be gearing up for a complete 'seal down'.
Local news channels like News9, TV9 Kannada and Public TV claimed that the Karnataka government has already sealed five areas in the city and may decide to order the same for many other localities in Bengaluru. After passing the seal down order, people will not be allowed to come out of their houses, all the shops will be shut when the street to street seal down will be ordered.
Rao slams fake news
Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao, IPS slammed the fake news and appealed people to stay calm, he tweeted, "Rumors and fake news are floating around of a Seal down in Bangalore City and creating panic. Dearest Citizens, there is nothing like that as of now. Please Stay calm."
The news channels claimed that street to street seal down is planned in the city as BBMP officials have complained to the government that they are not able to control their wards even though check posts were set up on the main roads, it was hard to regulate movement within the residential areas.
Only two wards sealed due to fresh Covid-19 cases: BBMP clarifies
BBMP Commissioner, BH Anil Kumar also clarified in a statement that the city is not heading for a seal down. He tweeted, "Dear citizens, I appeal to all of you not to panic & go out to buy essentials. Seal down orders are only in Ward 134 Bapuji Nagar & Ward 135 Padarayanapura due to fresh cases & to contain the spread of #Covid19. Urge TV news channels to report facts & not speculate."
Karnataka Police launches fake news busting platform
Karnataka Police on Thursday launched a dedicated fake news busting website, the state police chief announced. "Launching now: Karnataka State Police FactCheck - Don't fall for fake news, factcheck.ksp.gov.in," tweeted Karnataka Director General of Police, Praveen Sood, IPS. The verifying platform has listed a bunch of fake news that recently gained currency and refuted them with detailed explanations.
Several social media users thanked the police for bringing out the truth and busting fake news. Few suggested taking action against the news channel for spreading such rumours.
Karnataka Police shared at least nine fake news items to show they were false. Police invited public-spirited individuals to submit fake news for verification, asking details such as where he or she saw the fake news, website or app, and gave an option to submit audios, videos and images up to 2 megabytes size.
"Karnataka State Police has taken this initiative in collaboration with Check4Spam to counter rumours amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The citizens can utilize this portal to verify any suspected news and also upload the content for its verification and clarification," said the platform.