Written bySagar Malik
At such a crucial time when feelings of anxiety and panic have engulfed the entire world, we are not only fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic but also the rampant myths and misinformation that surround the deadly disease.
The last thing we need right now is an influential person sharing misinformation on social media.
But unfortunately, Amitabh Bachchan did exactly that.
As we all know, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called for a 'Janata curfew' or a self-imposed nationwide lockdown on Sunday, March 22.
He had also requested people to come out of their balconies at 5 pm to clap, ring bells, and clank plates in appreciation of medical professionals and other essential service providers who are working relentlessly in the country's fight against COVID-19.
Many people across the country, including Bachchan and his family, came out on their balconies and rooftops to clap and ring bells to express gratitude to the emergency workers.
However, some others, as usual, stuck to spreading misinformation around it, making bizarre claims like clapping and sound waves would "kill the virus".
One such fake news tweet belonged to Bachchan himself.
At 12:30 pm on Monday, Bachchan shared one of the fake news forwards about the clapping initiative on Twitter.
He wrote, "An OPINION GIVEN: 5 pm ; 22nd Mar, 'amavasya', darkest day of month ;virus, bacteria evil force at max potential & power ! Clapping shankh vibrations reduce/ destroy virus potency Moon passing to new 'nakshatra' Revati. cumulative vibration betters blood circulation (sic)."
Soon after Bachchan's tweet surfaced, he received widespread criticism from fellow users on the microblogging website. People tagged the tweet as "dangerous" and called the veteran actor "irresponsible" for casually posting such fake information. The tweet has since been deleted.
NO ! The vibration generated by clapping together will NOT destroy #Coronavirus infection#PIBFactCheck: The #JantaCurfew clapping initiative at 5pm is to express gratitude towards the Emergency staff working selflessly to counter #coronavirusinindia #Covid19India pic.twitter.com/WHfK4guxys— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 22, 2020
At 5 pm on Sunday, Amitabh Bachchan, along with daughter Shweta Nanda, son Abhishek and his wife Aishwarya Rai were spotted clapping and ringing bells from their Mumbai home's rooftop.
Other celebrities who participated in the initiative include Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Akshay Kumar, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Varun Dhawan, Karisma Kapoor, among others.
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