Flashback 2016: When fake Whatsapp messages did the rounds

Some of them were outrageous, and most of them fake, but some managed to create panic.

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New Delhi, Dec 27: The year 2016 is about to come to a close. No doubt, it has been an eventful year and newsmakers have kept journalists happy with lots to write. It has however also been the year of fake news and forwards as well. Most of them made it to print, while others were dropped after verification.

The year 2016 saw a lot of fake forwards ranging from UNESCO declaring Narendra Modi as the best prime minister to the new notes having a GPS chip to detect black money. Let us take a look at some of the forwards that should not have made news.

New notes have GPS chip to detect black money

Following the decision on demonetisation on November 8, a WhatApp message was forwarded to millions. It said that the new Rs 500 and 2,000 notes had a GPS chip to detect black money. While several media outlets were quick to report it, the RBI clarified that there were watermarks and security threads, but the chip was non-existent.

Jana Gana Mana declared best National Anthem:

This one once again attributed to the UNESCO. The forward read, India's National Anthem has been declared as the best in the world by UNESCO. Many tweeted about it and declared it as a very proud moment. However following clarification, the news was declared fake.


Profile pictures will be used by the ISIS

This forward again on WhatsApp did create a major flutter. Internal security correspondents were kept busy taking calls from concerned people. According to this forward attributed to the Delhi police, the Islamic State would use a persons profile picture on WhatsApp and steal their virtual identity. The message claimed that the CEO of WhatsApp had requested users 25 days time to rectify this issue.

The salt panic

In November 2016, there was major panic following a WhatsApp forward that spoke of salt shortage. This forward caused a four fold price rise in parts of Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad and Maharashtra. The government had to come out and issue a clarification to control the problem.

Arvind Kejriwal accused of rape

The other forward that kept making to the mobile phones was a cutting of Telegraph, dated June 8, 1987. The news report read, IIT student accused of rape. In the body of the news it was stated that Arvind Kejriwal, a student of IIT Khargapur was detained by the police for allegedly raping a girl.

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