Spreading Misinformation: Manipur and Myanmar Videos Conflated to Target a Community

In the age of social media, the dissemination of accurate information has become increasingly important. However, there are instances where misinformation spreads like wildfire, leading to misunderstandings and potentially dangerous consequences. In this blog post, we will delve into a recent incident involving the misrepresentation of a video, the subsequent misleading tweets, the fact-checking efforts conducted by D-Intent, and the underlying intent behind this incident.

The Incident:

Recently, a video began circulating on various social media platforms, showing a group of commandos armed with weapons. The claim accompanying the video alleged that these individuals were Kuki militants preparing for the ethnic cleansing of innocent Hindu Meitei civilians in Manipur. This shocking accusation sparked outrage and fear among those who came across the post.

Misleading Tweets:

One of the tweets in question was shared by the user @sgtweeets, who posted the video with the aforementioned claim. Here is the tweet in question: 

This tweet quickly gained traction, leading to further dissemination of the false narrative. Users who came across this tweet expressed their concerns and shared it with others, amplifying the misinformation.

Archived link

Fact-Checking by D-Intent:

To ascertain the truth behind the video, fact-checkers at D-Intent took on the task of investigating its origin and verifying the claims. Their findings debunked the allegations made in the initial tweet. Through diligent research, they discovered that the same video had been uploaded on the Facebook page of the Chinland Defense Force (CDF) Thantlang Commando on May 26. Thus, the video actually depicted CDF Thantlang Commando from Myanmar, not Kuki militants from Manipur. Here is the link to the fact-checking post by D-Intent: link

A screenshot of a Facebook post by D-Intent with the headline 'Fact-Checking: Manipur Video Misrepresented' and an image of the misleading video with a caption stating 'Video shared as Kuki militants from Manipur.

Intent behind the Incident:

Upon closer examination, it became evident that the intent behind the incident was to spread misinformation and perpetuate a propaganda campaign. By falsely attributing the video to Kuki militants in Manipur, certain individuals aimed to target and vilify a specific community, ultimately fostering division and creating a counter-narrative.

Conclusion:

The incident involving the misrepresentation of a video and the subsequent misleading tweets serves as a reminder of the power of social media and the need for responsible sharing of information. Fact-checking initiatives like the one conducted by D-Intent play a crucial role in debunking false narratives and preventing the harmful consequences that arise from spreading misinformation. By remaining vigilant, verifying information, and promoting accurate reporting, we can collectively combat the spread of misinformation in the digital realm.

Also read- Fake News Creates Communal Unrest Amidst Ethnic Violence in Manipur

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