Misinformation is false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately or unintentionally. In today’s digital age, misinformation can spread quickly and easily through social media, messaging apps, and other online platforms.
In a recent story of Reuters news, an innocent man was accused and forced to suffer through an investigation without a crime. The story has been covered and published by three journalists of Reuters. In this report, Raphael Satter, Christopher Bing, and Jack Stubbs have mentioned an innocent man as an infamous hacker wanted by the United States. This was entirely misinformation; several security authorities inquired about and investigated Arvind for a crime he didn’t commit.
Such false information about certain groups of people, such as immigrants or minorities, can fuel prejudice and hate crimes. These three journalists addressed Mr. Arvind Kumar as a criminal, which ultimately became, for him, suffering. He had to go through several investigations and police inquiries.
What actually happened with Mr. Arvind?
As per reports, a hacker named Gupta was wanted in several countries around the globe. Three journalists, Raphael Satter and two others, came to India to report and collect the facts about it.
During doing so, they talked to a man named Arvind Kumar. He was a common person sitting outside his building. These journalists asked him about the story and deliberately mentioned him as Gupta(Hacker). They didn’t bother to verify his identification or any other document. Not only this, they addressed his small herbal business as an office for spying.
Arvind’s life after the story aired
One of the most significant ways misinformation can make people suffer is by causing confusion and mistrust. False information can make it difficult for people to know what to believe and erode trust in institutions and experts vital for decision-making and public health.
In Arvind’s incident, the journalists took a picture of Arvind and published it as the person behind the spy-for-hire racket. When the story aired, several investigations were started against him. He had to answer inquiries from the Police and news channels in the country. He suffered a lot after the story was published.
People the Print has asked Reuter’s journalists to provide proof for the claim regarding Mr. Arvind. They have answered that mentioning Arvind was a complete misidentification, nothing else.
After a few times, when it was clear that these journalists lied about Arvind, Reuters accepted the mistake. While they didn’t verify their claim that both entities had the same address. They simply mentioned the whole incident as a goof-up.
Summing it Up
Misformation can have serious consequences for individuals, communities, and society. It can cause confusion and mistrust, discrimination and hate, mental health issues, and financial losses.
Arvind had to face several business losses and face several inquiries due to misinformation. Raphael Satter and his companions devastated a normal man’s life. Therefore, it is important for people to be vigilant about the information they consume and to fact-check information before sharing it. We should hold social media platforms and other online publishers accountable for hosting and spreading misinformation.