A screenshot of a tweet, seemingly by actor Jaaved Jaaferi, is going viral on social media. The tweet discusses the recent spate of viral videos of Muslim fruit and vegetable vendors spitting on items while selling them, and states that there is no evidence that they are suffering from COVID-19.
The tweet was exclusively shared in the form of a screenshot, with no links or archives. Furthermore, BOOM did not find any replies or quote tweets of any recently deleted tweet by Jaaferi - suggesting that the screenshot was doctored. Jaaferi took to Twitter to call out the screenshot as fake. He also published a video where he claimed to take legal action against those circulating the screenshot.
The text in the viral screenshot says: "Not necessary that the Muslim fruit and vegetable sellers spitting on the items are corona positive. But still, some Hindu buyers are boycotting Muslim vendors and spreading hate. Why are you so intolerant?" (Original Hindi text - जरूरी नही की थूक लगाकर फल और सब्जी बेच रहे सभी मुसलमान कोरोना पॉजिटिव हो। फिर भी कुछ हिंदू ग्राहक मुस्लिम विक्रेताओं का बहिष्कार कर नफ़रत फैला रहे हैं। इतने असहिष्णु क्यों हैं आप?)
The image has gone viral on both Facebook and Twitter, with people calling him out for defending the alleged habit of spitting on food items by Muslim vendors.
Upon conducting keyword searches, BOOM found no evidence of such a tweet being made, either in Google's cache, or in the form of an archive, nor was there any url available for the tweet. Furthermore, the viral posts were found sharing the exact same screenshot - suggesting that those sharing the the image did not take the screenshot themselves.
Assuming that if such a tweet was made, it would generate massive response from multiple users, we decided to look through the replies made to him using the "to:jaavedjaaferi" search function on Twitter. If he had deleted this tweet, then it would show up upon opening any of the responses to the tweet.
After looking through the tweets made in the past few weeks, we found that none of the responses were made to a tweet that was deleted by him.BOOM could not independently verify the origins of the screenshot.
Jaaferi eventually took to Twitter and called the screenshot out as fake. "My tweets and speeches have always promoted communal harmony and in today's trying time's where the world unites to fight an enemy of humanity, #**** off #HateMongers (sic)", he added.
This screen shot of a tweet attributed to me is fake and insidious and made viral by the rampant #FakeNews scum. My tweets and speeches have always promoted communal harmony and in today's trying time's where the world unites to fight an enemy of humanity, #****off #HateMongers pic.twitter.com/Y7NIi00zmv— Jaaved Jaaferi (@jaavedjaaferi) April 17, 2020
He eventually posted a video, where he reiterated his claim of never having tweeted out the viral screenshot, and stated that he does not use the profile picture being displayed in the screenshot. He also threatened to file a complaint with the police against those sharing the screenshot.
I normally don't post personal videos inspite of being trolled often, but had to now. In a time when humanity is faced with a pandemic and race religion colour country are no concern, some Indians are still indulging in #FakeNews #HinduMuslim #HateMongering.— Jaaved Jaaferi (@jaavedjaaferi) April 19, 2020
We need love not hate pic.twitter.com/4ckWzUVE4l
BOOM reached out to Jaaferi for a comment, and the article will be updated upon receiving a response.
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