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HomeFact CheckWeekly Wrap: Fake News Related To Omicron Variant, Morphed Image Of Swamy...

Weekly Wrap: Fake News Related To Omicron Variant, Morphed Image Of Swamy Vivekananda And More


While researchers are still studying the new Omicron variant of the Coronavirus and its possible implications to the partly vaccinated world, Netizens were quick to share their unsubstantiated findings on the Omicron strain.

From sharing a fabricated image showing the preplanned “release date” of the variants to sharing a morphed movie poster titled “The Omicron variant,” several false claims regarding the new strain were widely shared online.

Also viral this week was a morphed photo of Swami Vivekananda playing cricket and communal posts falsely claiming the Maha Vikas Aghadi government dropped the word ‘Hindu’ from their SSC & HSC Board Application Form. Here is a list of the top five fake claims Newschecker debunked this week.

No, This Image Does Not Show Swamy Vivekananda Playing Cricket For Calcutta Town Club In 1884

A picture of Swamy Vivekananda had recently gone viral on social media showing him in action while bowling a cricket ball in what looks like a domestic league cricket match. The photo claims that Swamy Vivekananda played for the Calcutta Town Club in 1884. Newschecker found the image to manipulated. The original image shows the England and Yorkshire left-arm bowler Headley Variety. Read the full story here.

Was The ‘Release’ Of Covid Variants Preplanned? No, Viral Forward Is A Hoax

Just days after the WHO announced the detection of a new variant in South Africa, the B.1.1.529, named Omicron, a viral forward has resurfaced alleging the detection of Covid variants preplanned. The viral post alleges that the coronavirus pandemic is staged and that the (Omicron) variant has come six months ahead of its ‘scheduled release.’ Newschecker’s investigation found the image to be fabricated and it does not indicate a ‘planned release of variants’ as is being claimed.
Read the fact-check here.

Factcheck: Did 1963 Movie ‘The Omicron Variant’ Predict New Coronavirus Strain?

Several social media users shared an image of a vintage-looking movie poster titled ‘The Omicron variant’ to claim that the newly detected Variant of Concern (VOC), B.1.1.529, named the Omicron variant, was predicted way back in a 1963 movie. Newschecker found the viral image to be an edited version of a sci-fi movie poster from 1974 called, ‘Phase IV.’ Read the full article here.

No, World Economic Forum’s Article From July 2021 Did Not Carry Information on Omicron Variant

Several social media users shared a link to a report by the World Economic Forum claiming the new variant of concern, Omicron, was not a ‘new’ variant as it has been mentioned in the WEF article dated July 2021. Newschecker found WEF’s article titled, ‘Explainer: This is how scientists detect new variants of COVID-19,’ has been updated on November 26 to add information about the new variant, B.1.1.529, and the updated article is falsely shared as the original article. Read more here.

No, Thackeray Govt Did Not Drop ‘Hindu’ From Maharashtra SSC & HSC Board Application Form

A screengrab of the Maharashtra SSC & HSC board exam application has been going viral on social media with the claim that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government lead by Shiv Sena CM Uddhav Thackeray has removed the category of ‘Hindu’ from the application form. Fact finding by the Newschecker reveals that the Maharashtra SSC Board exam application forms were not altered by the MVA government, but by the Prithviraj Chavan government in 2013. The word Hindu was also not dropped from the application form. Read the full article here.

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