The devastating Cyclone Nivar has already taken five lives and uprooted over 1,000 tries as it intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Thursday. After making landfall on the Southern coast of India early Thursday, the cyclone has already flooded low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu and disrupted power lines.
Social and news media have been constantly flashing images and videos of the impact of Cyclone Nivar in various southern towns and coastal regions. However, along with verified videos, fake videos and news are also being widely circulated.
We put together a list of all the majorly shared fake videos, some of which were even shared by state media handles.
[q]2017 Marina Beach Video[/q]
[ans]One such video, which was tweeted by the official handle of Prasar Bharati News Service, showed a submerged Marina Beach in Chennai as the aftermath of Cyclone Nivar. The caption of the 25-second-long video clip read, "Marina beach in Chennai underwater as Chennai is receiving incessant rain".
A fact-check conducted by India Today revealed that the video was indeed from the 2017 Chennai floods. In November 2017, heavy rains lashed Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu, leading to severe flooding. The video of the inundated Marina Beach was not shot post Cyclone Nivar but indeed shot three years ago.
This is an original YouTube post from 2017 containing the same clip:
Prasar Bharati has since deleted the tweet.[/ans]
[q]Signboard falling in Pakistan[/q]
[ans]Yet another viral video that was widely shared in the aftermath of Nivar was a video in which a signboard could be seen falling on two motorists on a street due to gusty winds amid heavy rainfall. The video was claimed to be from Chennai.
— Anil Kaushik🇮🇳 (@anilkaushik_) November 25, 2020
Fact-checkers, however, soon established that the video was not from India at all but indeed from Pakistan. The video was originally posted in August when the incident was also reported in local Pakistan media.[/ans]
[q]CGI Tornado Video[/q]
[ans]Yet another video that has been going viral with thousands of views is of an apparent tornado forming in the sea along a coastline in Tamil Nadu. Ad the video went viral, several users identified the location of the "tornado" in Mahabalipuram.
Human lifes gonna end soon
One after another,bad things happening to humans
— Kurma Vishnu Priya (@PriyaKurma) November 25, 2020
A fact-check conducted by The Quint, however, found that the video was not real but a CGI tornado video that had been uploaded on YouTube in December 2018. It appears that the video was shared on a CGI and 3-D as well as graphics artist with the caption "Tornado CGI simulation". The artist's page also contains various other 3D and 4D videos.
Take a look at the original:
While fake videos are being circulated by the dozens, these three fake videos managed to reach thousands of people within a matter of hours and are still doing the rounds on social media, despite several fact-checks.
Social media users and experts have cautioned others to practice discretion and run verification checks on random videos that claim to show the impact of Nivar, no matter if you saw it on social media or if it was forwarded to you, even the ones forwarded by parents, before sharing them on social media.
Meanwhile, rescue operations have already begun in the cyclone hit states and areas like Pudducherry.