What a year! Death and destruction everywhere we look, pandemic, cyclone and possible forest fires? In the past few days, news of Uttarakhand forest fire has been trending on social media along with the hashtags, #savehimalayas and #PrayForUttarakhand but when experts began to look into the matter, the blazing forest fire incidents turned out to be massively exaggerated rumours. The pictures circulated, depicting the raging forest fire of Uttarakhand, were actually old photographs taken during 2016’s Uttarakhand forest fire and some of them were takenfrom entirely different countries.
Regarding this false news, Uttarakhand’s CM, Trivendra Singh Rawat said, “The incidents of forest fires this year are way less than last year and false panic is being spread on social media using old and unrelated photos”.
We felt the need to share this information, through our platform because we too received some information regarding this but instead of believing what we heard, we chose to do some research and we found out about the misleading rumours. This blog is much more than a current affairs news for us, as we want to raise awareness regarding the spread of such false news. Rumours may prove much more disastrous than the accidents themselves, as they create panic and havoc among people. In today’s world where everyone is connected to social media platforms, it is very easy to get misleading information like this, but this era of technology brings a cure for this too, that is finding the legitimate piece of information from official sources. There are a lot of platforms, media houses, official social media handles which provide the correct official information, make a habit to carefully choose such platforms as your source of information.
Rumours not only cause misinformation but sometimes also lead to much more drastic events such as communal hatred, misunderstandings or even riots, destroying the livelihood of thousands of innocent people. That’s why it is very important to check your facts before believing anything you hear and in case you come across such a rumour, report it to the concerned authorities immediately and do not further circulate it to anyone else.
In difficult times like this, we need to unite against whatever comes in our way. If we, as well-informed citizens, work hand-in-hand for nation building, nothing will be able to stop us. Team ITVI, advices you all to stay alert and only trust the official sources of information. Our stance is to not let any misinformation pass from our platform, by any means and we are asking the same from our readers too. Support a cause only after making sure of its legitimacy, report false news and inform others too who share such posts or messages which are misleading or hateful.
We wrote this blog in public interest as a part of our awareness drive because we vehemently detest such rumours and false news. We hope from now on you too will pay attention to prevent the spread of misinformation.
Saumya Rani (Team ITVI)