This was the year when Indian films and documentaries were recognized on the global stage, this was also the year when Indians wanted to boycott specific Bollywood films, largely because they didn't fit the religious standards of the hashtag Internet brigade.
Just days after Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Pathaan' faced boycott calls from right-wing groups protesting online and offline, the Bollywood star spoke about the negativity that exists on social media, at the inauguration of the Kolkata International Film Festival 2022 (KIFF). With boycott calls on one side, misinformation around 'Pathaan' had also heavily flooded social media.
'Pathaan', of course, wasn't the only film that hit roadblocks put up the right-wing groups, Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor also faced the same earlier this year with their movies - 'Lal Singh Chaddha' and 'Brahmastra: Part One Shiva'.
In 2022, BOOM debunked several pieces of misinformation about these three movies that went viral on social media in the run-up to their release. Here's a rewind:
Aamir Khan - Lal Singh Chaddha (Released: August 2022)
Before Lal Singh Chaddha was released, the Internet was already filled with several viral pieces of misinformation on it. From claims that no one attended the premier show of the movie to videos and photos of Aamir Khan shared with false context.
A photo of Aamir Khan at a press event held in Sathyam theatre in Chennai for the new release Laal Singh Chaddha, was shared with a false claim that nobody attended a premiere show of the movie.
BOOM found that the viral photo of Aamir Khan is from an interaction organised for journalists, with the actors of Laal Singh Chaddha. The event open only for media persons was held on August 7, 2022, at Sathyam theater in Chennai, days before the film was released in cinemas on August 11, 2022.
A cropped video of Aamir Khan speaking about a majority of people not liking his movie 'Thugs Of Hindostan', in November 2018, was shared online falsely claiming the actor admitted his latest film 'Laal Singh Chaddha' is a flop.
BOOM found that the claim is false as the viral video is from 2018. Khan was not talking about 'Laal Singh Chaddha' in the viral video.
A photo of a gathering in Punjab in support of Aamir Khan's Laal Singh Chaddha was shared with a false claim that it shows Sikhs protesting against the screening of the movie.
BOOM found that the photo shows activists of the Sikh Tal-Mel Committee holding a protest demanding that the movie screening not be canceled. The protest was held after the local wing of the Shiv Sena demanded 'Lal Singh Chaddha''s screenings were cancelled.
A video of a massive crowd gathered at a Kerala mall for a promotional event of a Malayalam movie Thallumaala starring Tovino Thomas was shared with a false claim. The claim was that it showed people flocking theatres at Lulu mall in Uttar Pradesh to watch 'Laal Singh Chaddha'.
The Lulu mall, owned by UAE-based Indian businessman and billionaire Yusuf Ali MA, had found itself in the news after a controversy broke out after a video went viral on July 12, 2022 - the day of its opening - in Lucknow showing a group of around eight people offering namaz at the first floor of the mall.
BOOM found that the video shows a large crowd gathered to attend an event for a Malayalam movie, Thallumaala at HiLITE mall in Kerala.
An old photo showing Aamir Khan partaking in an aarti ceremony during the Navratri festival in Vadodara, Gujarat was shared falsely claiming the actor was seen performing Hindu rituals after his movie 'Laal Singh Chaddha' tanked at the box office.
BOOM found that the viral photo is from September 2017 when the actor offered aarti during the Navratri festival in Vadodara, Gujarat.
Ranbir Kapoor - Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva (September 2022)
'Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva', starring Ranbir Kapoor and Ali Bhatt also saw calls for a boycott from rightwing groups. Plenty of fake news on the film was also viral. A fake BBC tweet went viral falsely claiming that the director Karan Johar and the actors had donated money to victims of floods that had hit Pakistan at that time. A recce of the pre-release event of Brahmāstra was shared with false claims that viewers did not turn up because of the 'Boycott Brahmastra' trend online.
A fake screenshot purporting to be a tweet by BBC News Hindi claiming that the film producer-director Karan Johar and the actors Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor have donated crores of money to the victims of flood-hit Pakistan went viral on social media.
BOOM was able to ascertain that the tweet is fake.
In a tweet, BBC News Hindi rubbished the claim and said that no such tweet or news was reported by them.
A video showing a recce of the pre-release event of Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva in Hyderabad was circulating on social media with misleading claims that viewers did not turn up and the event was canceled because of the 'Boycott Brahmastra' trend online.
BOOM found the claims to be misleading as the viral video shows moments of a recce that is generally done a few days before the actual event takes place. Moreover, BOOM was also able to confirm that the event was cancelled because of the non-receipt of Hyderabad Police's permission.
A graphic featuring the logo of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hindi and a fake quote on the Boycott Bollywood trend falsely attributed to actor Alia Bhatt, was viral on social media.
BOOM found the claim to be fake. Issuing a statement, BBC Hindi mentioned the news as untrue and that the organisation did not run any such news story.
A 2016 video showing several people including an old man abusing producer and director Karan Johar and giving a bad movie review to 'Baar Baar Dekho' outside a theater was being shared with the false claim that they are criticising the recently released Bollywood movie 'Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva'.
BOOM found that the viral video is from September 2016 and the old man in the video and other moviegoers were actually criticising the movie 'Baar Baar Dekho' which was produced by Karan Johar and Farhan Akhtar.
The latest film to have faced the wrath of right-wing groups is the yet-to-be-released Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone starrer film 'Pathaan'.
Shah Rukh Khan - Pathaan (Releasing in January 2023)
BOOM fact-checked misinformation around 'Pathaan' from March 2022 to date, as several false claims around this film have been going viral since then. Claims such as that the movie's name was changed, or an old movie scene falsely shared as Khan wearing a saffron prison suit in 'Pathaan' — have been doing the rounds.
An old video showing Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath speaking about Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was viral on social media in March 2022 with captions falsely claiming that the chief minister had advised people against watching the actor's upcoming film 'Pathaan'.
BOOM found that the viral video is from 2015 when Yogi Adityanath had slammed the Bollywood actor for a different reason.
A digital poster of Shah Rukh Khan's upcoming film 'Jawan' was circulating on social media in May 2022 with false claims that he renamed his film 'Pathaan' to the former after facing a backlash online.
BOOM had reached out to the Red Chillies Entertainment team, Khan's production company, who had rubbished the claims back then.
A 2016 video of Shah Rukh Khan where he says boycott trends have no impact on his films, was shared on social media in September 2022 falsely claiming it was a recent statement.
BOOM found that the video is an excerpt from an interview that Khan gave in 2016 and the line about boycott trends is about the calls for boycotting his movie Dilwale.
A morphed video of actor Shah Rukh Khan was being shared widely on social media with false claims that he has referred to himself as a Pakistani. In the edited clip that was viral, the actor is seen talking about religion and the minority community in his country and stating that is "a proud Pakistani".
A still from the 2011 Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Don 2: The Chase Continues' was being shared falsely claiming that it is a scene from the upcoming movie Pathaan and shows the actor wearing a saffron-colored prison uniform.
After the release of a music video from the movie showed Deepika Padukone wearing a saffron coloured bikini, several right-wing users started claiming that such portrayal hurts 'Hindu sentiments'. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra also made an objection about the scene and warned its makers to change the visuals.
BOOM found that the scene was shot in a Malaysian prison to portray a glimpse of a prisoner in the country as per the movie plot.