Have you ever received a WhatsApp message that sounded more like a warning/announcement and instantly got you worried/excited and you immediately forward that message to all contacts you care about and all WhatsApp groups you are a part of?

Did one of those messages ask you to keep your phone away while you sleep tonight because some dangerous cosmic rays will pass near Earth tonight?

Did one of those messages tell you about how UNESCO has declared Narendra Modi as Best PM, Yogi Adityanath as Best CM and Jana Gana Mana as Best National Anthem and almost everything about this country has been declared BEST?

Did you ever get a message saying WhatsApp will charge you for its service if you did not become a frequent user? And then that same message also gave you a quick fix to become a frequent user by forwarding that same message to 10/20 WhatsApp users?

Did you ever receive a message about any Bollywood actor’s death along with pictures of his/her dead body?

Did you ever receive a message from none other than Commissioner of Delhi with his signature and contact number asking you to remove your profile photo because ISIS could use it for terrorist activity? Ever tried to save that contact number and check out his profile picture? No? You should have!

Let me get this straight – All the kinds of messages mentioned above are FAKE. Rather those are practical jokes played upon YOU! Because YOU “forwarded (those messages) as received”

In 2017, Pankaj Jain founder of “SM Hoax Slayer”, busted 1300 fake WhatsApp forwards. 

"But how would have I known?" you'd ask. It is not so difficult, all we need to do is pause for a minute before forwarding such messages and think!

If Indian Government is going to bring in or announce a major change, Indian media will be the first to inform you not WhatsApp. If there is something that the government wants to keep as top secret no one will get to know about it.

Did anyone have any idea before 8:15 pm on November 08, 2016 about demonetization of all ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes?

If WhatsApp ever decides to charge you for its services – The application on your phone “WhatsApp” will inform you directly and again it will be announced on news channels first.

Remember our news channels are in desperate need of content. We all have seen how they stretch a small news. They also inform us about who our favorite celebrities toddler is playing with. They won’t hide any big news from us!

If Amazon or any shopping site or brand is doing a huge lucky draw they will make a big deal about it through its advertising months before the day!

There was a message circulating on WhatsApp saying Kellogg’s products contain pork and beef gelatin and was accompanied with a proof in form of a PDF document. Later Kellogg’s India has assured (via Twitter) that none of their products contain gelatine or any other non-vegetarian ingredients.

The worst kinds of forwarded messages are the ones about health and diseases. Yes, the news about Paracetamol carrying virus was a hoax too!

If you want to practice a healthy lifestyle, lose weight/ gain weight – just remember there are no shortcuts! Everyone’s nutritional requirements are different and based on their age/blood group/ body/health conditions. Want to eat right? Consult a dietician! Need to cure something? Go and see a doctor!

WhatsApp is an instant messaging and calling application. A way to keep in touch with our friends and family. WHATSAPP IS NOT A NEWS APP OR HEALTH BLOG.

If you want to stay updated with the latest news, download a “news” app. I recommend “Inshorts” it notifies you about important news in just 60 words.

Most hoax messages you read are topics you are mostly not much aware of. That is probably why you believe them. What you can do is whenever you stumble upon such a “news” just tap on the message, copy it and paste it into google search box and browse through the results. If it is fake you will get to know, if the news is true you will find more articles about it.

The phrase "Forwarded as received" does not free us from our responsibility. We need to discourage spreading of false news at all costs and use WhatsApp to share happiness, thoughts and smiles not scares.


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