Kerala is currently experiencing its worst floods in almost hundred years. Close to two and a half lakh people have been displaced and some 324 people have lost their lives. While local authorities, rescue forces and many other people around the world are trying to help the people in the city in any way they can, some are, sadly, using this is an opportunity to spread misinformation.
Some hours ago, fake news surrounding the fate of the ancient Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala surfaced on social media, creating panic among people.
Responding to the same, the Chief Minister of Kerala has now tweeted, alerting people to only rely on official sources.
Abstain from spreading misinformation on whatsapp & social media networks. Many rumours & fake news are surfacing. Listen for official announcements. Follow the CMO handles in Twitter & FB; FB pages of Ministers, District Collectors, Kerala Police & Fire force. #KeralaFloods2018
" CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 16, 2018
News18 also reported water resources secretary Tinku Biswal as saying, "Rumours are being spread in social media sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, etc., that the Mullaperiyar Dam has developed some cracks. This rumour is completely baseless and the Dam has not developed any cracks as alleged."
Idukki District Collector Jeevan Babu told The Better India, "All the news about the safety of the dam is absolutely baseless and unfounded, and I wish to state that there are no such issues at all. The state government has now decided to take action against all those who spread fake news."
Meanwhile, QKopy, a Kozhikode-based social networking app is helping the city traffic police to manage the traffic as most of the roads are inundated in the city, reports Business Standard. The app is available on both iPhone and Android and works based on the telephone number of the user. Basically, it's a crowdsourced platform, which is aimed at providing real-time updates of the city, and traffic police are using the app to generate awareness, issue directions on which route to use and offer regular updates.
While we're all aware of how much we're struggling to deal with the menace of fake news, this is really the time when we all pull up our socks and just say no to forwarding any news or information that comes to us from an unofficial source.
Stay safe and stay smart!