Tiger videos with false locations create uproar on social media, activists demand action
A video of a tiger crossing the road from Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has gone viral recently on social media platforms.
HUBBALLI: A video of a tiger crossing the road from Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has gone viral recently on social media platforms. But the false information that is going around with the video has become a headache for the Karnataka forest department.
The same video was first shared in social media groups stating that the tiger sighting was from Dandeli-Khanapur Road.
The video was shared by many in the state appreciating the tiger and the road. In fact, a little bit of investigation on the footage has already proved that the road in the video has been added, and not in the original clip.
The forest officials point out that any tiger sighting creates a buzz among several stakeholders such as farmers, residents and wildlife enthusiasts. There have been several such instances where tiger videos from North India or other parts of South India are circulated with false locations.
A few months ago, a homestay owner from Chikkamagaluru had shared a video from North India on his social media account, stating that the sighting was near his property. The post was removed after the local wildlife activists and forest officials called the owner for questioning.
"The false information is created many times along the wildlife videos. Be it tiger, elephant or snake rescue, most of the videos carry wrong information. Karnataka is among top tiger states in India, and sighting of tigers is common. Despite many people viral videos of tiger sightings with the wrong locations. The forest department must come up with a fact-checking team to ensure such wrong information is not circulated on social media groups," demanded a wildlife activist.
Senior IFS officer V Yedukondalu pointed out that those who provide false information can be booked under IT laws.
"It's an offence. Many times the forest officials get queries about tiger sightings in their area after the videos with wrong information goes viral. This has been an issue for the last few years as the majority of users take social media lightly," he explained.