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No Government order to close Ministries, PIB Fact Check calls out fake news

No Government order to close Ministries, PIB Fact Check calls out fake news

In its mission against fake news, PIB Fact Check has today called out multiple fake news items circulating in media.

A prominent web news portal uploaded a news piece reporting that Government of India has launched beta version of a video conferencing app by the name of ‘Say Namaste’ and would soon launch the app. PIB Fact Check has clarified that neither the Government has launched any such app nor has it endorsed it. The objective is to inform people to not download any such app under the impression that it has approval of the Government of India.

In a reiteration of a previous post, the fact check account re-posted content busting the fake news doing rounds of social media, which claimed that Ministry of Railways was planning to cut salaries and pension of employees due to the ongoing lockdown. PIB Fact Check has re-iterated that the news was fake and no such deduction was being considered by the Ministry.

News spread on social media with a screen grab of a news channel claiming Government of India has directed all Ministries to shut down. No such directive has been issued by the Government. The news was called out and the channel responsibly corrected the news.

Regional units of PIB have been playing a critical role in countering fake news at State level. PIB unit in Shimla issued a tweet with letter of the District Magistrate of Una in Himachal Pradesh against a news item published on a prominent news portal which claimed milkmen from a community in Punjab were not allowed entry in Himachal Pradesh.

PIB Fact Check had also issued a counter to a malicious video being widely circulated on social media which claimed children in Jehanabad in Bihar were having to eat frogs due to shortage of food because of the lockdown. An investigation by the district administration discovered that families of the children had sufficient food at their home.

A similar claim emanated from Arunachal Pradesh which claimed people were eating snakes due to shortage of food. The PIB regional branch in Guwahati clarified citing the State Government that the State had sufficient food stocks to last three months and that the news item was fake. It also added that regular food supplies were being made to the State.

Background

In order to check the spread of fake news on social media and following observations of the Supreme Court, PIB set up a dedicated unit to bust rumours getting viral on the social media. ‘PIBFactCheck’ is a verified handle on Twitter that continuously monitors trending messages on social media platforms and conducts comprehensive review of its contents to bust fake news. Besides, PIB_India handle and various PIB regional unit handles on Twitter are posting official and authentic version of any item on Twitter using the hashtag #PIBFactCheck for the benefit of the Twitter community at large.

Any person can submit to PIBFactCheck any social media message, including text, audio and video, to verification of its authenticity. These can be submitted online on the portal https://factcheck.pib.gov.in/ or on Whatsapp No. +918799711259 or email: [email protected] The details are also available on PIB website: https://pib.gov.in

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