Malicious rumors and fabricated news becoming more dangerous than novel Coronavirus

Fake news with audio and video manipulation are becoming increasingly prominent in current novel Coronavirus outbreak, the public is regularly encountering fake news that is supported by deceptive fabricated videos. 

Malicious rumors and fabricated news becoming more dangerous than novel Coronavirus

Rumor 1: The bat soup

The video of a Chinese Lady drinking Bat Soup is viral on social media these days is from the Travel show “Universal Travel” produced by a Chinese TV host Ms. Wang Mengyun in 2016. What needs to be clarified is that the video was not shot in 2020 in China but was shot in 2016 in Palau, a country that belongs to South Pacific region near Australia.

Ms. Wang Mengyun was recording a travel show in Palau at that time. The bat soup in the video wasn’t even Chinese food, but a daily cuisine of the locals there in Palau. Also, the bat used for the soup is the fruit-eating bat and not a wild one, commonly used by the locals, not Chinese. Ms. Wang Mengyun graduated from Hangzhou Normal University in Broadcasting, Hosting and Art. She was the host of the Qianjiang Channel of Zhejiang TV Station. After resigning in 2015, she started her own company to produce travel programs.

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The video was ill-intentionally dug out from Ms. Wang’s personal social account and was connected to novel coronavirus outbreak, which is misleading and condemn-able. In fact, strange wild animals like bats have never been considered as a source of food by the Chinese, nor even liked by the Chinese.

wang mengyun clarification

Ms. Wang made a statement on her personal social media account Weibo in China on January 22nd,2020, after she found that the video was misused on social media that created misconception regarding the corona virus.

Rumor 2: Motorcycle crash and novel coronavirus spread

There’s another case again immensely misleading regarding novel coronavirus patients in china. A motorcycle crash is edited to spread the rumor.

Just as China is ramping up its effort to battle against the COVID-19 outbreak, so are online rumors looking to instill hatred.

Rumor 3: Policemen raid

Recently, a video circulating on social media platforms, including Twitter, became the latest focus of discussion for some China naysayers online.

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The 21-second clip shows three policemen getting off a car licensed G1796 and walking into a residential neighborhood with guns. The latter part of the footage showed medical staff conducting first aid on wounded civilians lying on the ground. The G1796 car is believed to belong to the police bureau of Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejiang Province. The video seems to suggest Chinese police was shooting civilians with guns. However, this is not how the real case was.

On February 13, CGTN reached out to the police bureau, which confirmed that the policemen are among their ranks, but condemned the video as misleading since the policemen had been dispatched to deal with a rabid dog, not civilians as the video suggested.

An official statement from the police reads: At 11:37 a.m. on February 1, Yiwu Police received a report from civilians asking for help to handle a ravenous dog, which had been hurting people in Futian neighborhood. The bureau dispatched three armed policemen with protective gear included for protection against the novel coronavirus, to the site.

The policemen shot the dog after evaluating the danger it imposed on humans. The video circulating online pieced together different clips including the part of police armed with guns with other irrelevant footage, and it was edited with malicious intent, the police stressed.

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“Only a small part of the video circulating online is relevant to us, and the footage has been taken by people who were watching from far away,” said Gong Longfei, a policeman of the Yiwu Police Bureau.

A statement from Yiwu Police Bureau. /CGTN Photo

A statement from Yiwu Police Bureau. /CGTN Photo

The latter part of the footage is of a traffic accident in Wuzu township in Hubei Province.

Li Huanyu, a policeman with Wuzu Police Bureau said that 15-year-old Liu took his cousin on the motorcycle and due to a wrong operation, the vehicle rammed into the cemented curb in the afternoon on January 29. Doctors of Wuzu Hospital rushed to the scene upon the call. “We found the boy laying there, leaving mydriasis with breath and carotid pulsation,” said Wang Yiqiu, a doctor at Yuzu Hospital.

The police added that the investigation about the source of the video is underway, and the fabricated video can be used in possible prosecution.

This article is written by Tahir Mehmood, a renowned journalist.

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