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Don’t Forward Rumours, Fake News on Social Media, Indian Army Tells Soldiers

Message may be yours but the brain behind it could be someone else’s, says a cautionary video posted by the Indian Army’s Public Information cell.

The rabble-rousing that goes in the name of news debates on Indian television channels may have prompted the Indian army to post a video sensitizing soldiers on the dangers of spreading rumours and fake news.

1. A message tweeted by the Indian Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information on Monday warns soldiers against exhibiting battleground qualities of courage and speed in forwarding unverified news items on social media.

2. The message attached to the video says soldiers must forward rumours and unverified news as little as possible.

3. The 58-second animated video charts the journey of a news item about someone forwarding a news item titled “Indian troops mobilized for war” to a person just waking up from sleep. This person then posts it on social media, further amplifying the item’s reach.

4. By the end of the video, more and more people have been exposed to the fake news, helping build an anti-China and anti-Pakistan sentiment among the public. That’s when the man who first sent out the forward receives a message saying it was fake. But all he can do is sit and regret having forwarded it in the first place.

5. The video’s closing message reads: “Till you don’t believe in it yourself, don’t forward it. The message may be a forward from you but someone else’s brain may be behind it.”

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