Yearender 2020: Top hoaxes involved Kim Jong-un, PubG and COVID lockdown
We take a brief halt and look over at some of the rumours that made news this year.
It's time to bid adieu to the year 2020 and welcome 2021 with open arms. It's time to stay optimistic and spread positivity among the near and dear ones, especially when the entire world is battling against the pandemic. While some have pinned their hopes high on 2021 that it will force out this year's pain and suffering, for others it's the belief that the next year will bring with itself happiness and prosperity around the world.
As we gear up to sail into a new decade, we take a brief halt and look over at some of the hoaxes/rumours that dominated headlines in 2020.
Coronavirus spread through bats
In April, in the midst of a pandemic that had hit the entire world by then, social media was fuelled by fears over the alleged role of bats in spreading the lethal virus. The rumour was one of the first around coronavirus that the virus originated from people consuming bat soup in China. When early cases of coronavirus surfaced in 2019, a video of a woman eating bat soup went viral and sparked a rumour that bat soup consumption had caused the outbreak. But researchers put an end to such speculations, stating that nothing supports bats being involved in the virus spread. Moreover, the viral video of a woman consuming bat soup wasn't filmed in China but was taken in the Republic of Palau.
Kim Jong-un death rumours
North Korean leader Kim-Jong un's presumed death took social media by storm. With rumours circulating around his death, netizens started supporting his sister, Kim Yo-jong, to take reigns and lead the dictatorship. The reclusive leader of the hermit kingdom made newspaper headlines in April this year after various sources sparked speculations over his ill health. Rumours suggested that he might had suffered a serious setback on the back of a botched heart operation on April 12.
Major lockdown to be imposed again in September
Amid rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases in India, rumours had surfaced that Ministry of Home Affairs has recommended another lockdown from September 25 to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country. Thankfully, the government rejected the reports with Press Information Bureau terming it a 'Fake News' alert. A report has gone viral on social media that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had recommended the Centre to impose another lockdown from September 25. The fake alert was supported with a screenshot claiming to be of the NDMA's order.
5G responsible for spreading coronavirus.
Yes, you read it right; and thankfully it was just another rumour around coronavirus that did round this year. The rumour was that 5G - sed in mobile phone networks and that relies on signals carried by radio waves, is instrumental in the spread of coronavirus. Interestingly, the rumour fell in two separate cateogories — First, 5G can weaken the immune system, thus making people more prone to catch the virus. Second, the virus can be transmitted through the 5G technology.
Arshad Warsi will announce Pubg Mobile India comeback
Ever since the announcement of PUBG Mobile India, the hype around the Indian iteration has only been increasing and several theories around it started circulting on social media. One of the widespread rumours around the PUBG Mobile India was Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi would announce the PUBG Mobile India’s Comeback in an ad. This did not end here as a fake trailer of PUBG Mobile India appeared on TapTap Store, a mobile game sharing community. The trailer on TapTap's PubG Mobile India featured various skins, costumes, and emotes. However, the trailer was fake and not legitimate.