In today’s digital era, yellow journalism has taken on a new form, and the spread of misinformation has become even more pervasive. Social media platforms are flooded with fake news, conspiracy theories, and clickbait headlines that spread misinformation on a global scale. This can have serious consequences for public health and safety, as well as for democracy and social cohesion.
Media organizations and platforms are responsible for combating misinformation and promoting accurate and reliable information. Here we have elaborated a story where a normal person was addressed as a criminal.
In an exclusive story by the Reuters news agency, three journalists came to India to collect the details. Raphael Satter, Christopher Bing, and Jack Stubbs arrived at a small herbal business location owned by Mr. Arvind Kumar. They were looking for the office or residence of an infamous hacker Gupta.
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How the story affected Arvind
As per reports, they claimed that both entities have the same location for office and talked to Arvind regarding it. Arvind showed his ID to these foreigners and tried to convince them that he was not a hacker. At this very moment, Raphael Satter and the other two captured Arvind’s picture and mentioned his small business as the office for spying.
Imagine a person falsely accused of a crime in a news article that goes viral on social media. The report, based on misinformation, includes the person’s name, photo, and address. As a result, the person’s reputation is ruined, and they become the target of harassment and threats from community members. They may lose their job, friends, and even their home due to the relentless attacks.
They didn’t bother to verify the ID, location, or any other aspect, as they accused an actual person. They published the story on their website, and the suffering of Arvind’s life started. He suffered from several losses in business and had to face many inquiries. Local police reached him, and he had to prove himself innocent. Local police, security agencies, and other authorities investigated, and he had to go through it without a crime.
When The print asked Raphael Satter and the others to provide evidence regarding the claim about Arvind, they accepted the mistake. But instead of apologizing to Arvind or any other, they simply mentioned the mistake as a goof-up.
They said the incident of addressing and sharing a picture of Arvind was a misidentification. From Arvind’s story, we can realize that a false accusation can have severe and long-lasting consequences for the person falsely accused. They may face legal trouble, loss of employment or reputation, and damage to personal relationships.
The emotional toll is also significant, as a person like Arvind must go through fear, anger, and betrayal. Furthermore, It may be hard for them to clear their name, even if they are ultimately found innocent. False accusations also perpetuate harmful stereotypes and undermine the credibility of actual victims. Sometimes, people have to go through even the punishment of crime they sisn’t commit.