After COVID-19 outbreak at Tablighi Jamaat conference, fake news targeting Muslims abounds
Since 30 March, when news broke that six attendees at the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic religious gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin locality, had died of COVID-19, fact-checking websites have reported a barrage of fake-news targeting Muslims for the pandemic.
Many video clips shared on Facebook and WhatsApp purportedly showed Muslims actively working to spread the virus in India. Fact checkers said that despite each of the posts on social media being easy to disprove, the sheer quantity of false-information shared made it tough for them to flag all cases of disinformation.
“Ever since the Nizamuddin incident is in the public domain, there is a surge in fake content targeting the Muslim community,” Rakesh Dubbudu, the founder of the fact checking website Factly, said. Dubbudu said that a majority of fake content related to COVID-19 did not have a religious tone until recently. However, on 30 March, multiple fact-checking organisations noticed a sudden surge in Islamophobic fake news on social media.
Coronavirus: Video of an undertrial in Mumbai falsely viral as Nizamuddin markaz attendee spitting at cop (Apr 2, 2020, Alt News)
Fact Check: No, Muslim Men Are Not Sneezing In Unison To Spread Novel Coronavirus In Viral Video (Apr 3, 2020, The Logical Indian)
Old, Unrelated Video Shared as Muslims Licking Utensils to Spread Coronavirus Infection (Mar 31, 2020, News Click)
No, foreign nationals from Italy, Iran weren’t hiding in Patna mosque to avoid coronavirus testing (Mar 28, 2020, Alt News)