At a time when fake news has become a great cause of concern across the globe, news outlets, who more often than not have access to first-hand information, are expected to rely on fact-checking more than ever.
As it turned out, the Times of India, considered one of India's leading news dailies, learnt their lesson the hard way as they were forced to take down a story after social media pointed out its inaccuracy.
Times of Bangalore, an advertorial segment of the Times of India, published an interview with former WWE superstar Hulk Hogan with a catchy headline that read "I am falling in love with India". The 64-year-old wrestler, according to the newspaper, was at a college in Chandigarh, the capital city of North Indian state Punjab, for a wrestling tournament in a city college.
Hogan, according to Newslaundry, was quoted as saying by the newspaper report that he likes butter chicken and chicken korma. The wrestler, who was regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, even mentions the "only Indian" he had fought against and how they became friends after the bout.
As it turned out, the newspaper had not interviewed the wrestler but his look-alike, whom they believed was Hogan. After the faux pas was pointed out by a Twitter user, reactions poured in.
Some guy at a local wrestling show seems to have convinced Times of India that he's actually Hulk Hogan. I'm not sure how this happened, I just know that one of the world's largest newspapers published it, and I want to know more!— Chinmay Bhogle (@chinmaybhogle) February 17, 2018
Online link: https://t.co/6vQPYzBeOM pic.twitter.com/XJ2WGyQ40g
It has also been pointed out that the Times of India carried a report on the wrestling event at the Chandigarh college that had a photograph of the lookalike with the caption: "Hulk Hogan 'look-alike', Mr. Wrestling brought cheer to the audiences".
The newspaper has now acknowledged the goof-up, saying that the interview "was factually incorrect."
IBTimes India has compiled a list of reactions to the tweet that pointed out the newspaper's goof-up. Check them out below.
Umm. Guys at @toi. Just so you know, the real Hulk Hogan doesn't have blue eyes. It's called fact checking. You should try it some time. Plenty fun.— Crystal Death (@AdharshRaghavan) February 18, 2018
Nothing new for TOI..Hav had so many blunders ..It's only that social media highlights it these days— Rohan Gaitonde (@RohanGaitonde) February 17, 2018
Hahahaha. I am rolling deep in laughter. The photograph is actually funny. I am going to try being Roman Reigns in Chandigarh.— Tarundeep Singh (@TarundeepSingh) February 19, 2018