Putin Unleashed Lions on Road to Keep People at Home During COVID-19 is a Rumor

Unfortunately, people are trying to create crisp in the sorry tale. The rumors were spread across many social media that Putin, the Russian president has unleashed lion to control the public. The social plat forms show that a lions is roaming the streets shared as a ‘breaking news’ screengrab has gone viral on social media.

A caption with the picture reads ‘Breaking News:

“Russia unleashed more than 500 lions on its streets to ensure that people are staying indoors during this pandemic outbreak. Vladimir Putin released around 500 lions to make people stay indoors.”

The image also bears a ‘Live’ logo and timestamp giving it the impression of a television screengrab. BOOM found that the picture was taken in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2016 and the viral post was created using a mobile app.

The viral post is shared below and its archived version can be accessed here. Coming at a time when Coronavirus outbreak has forced many countries across the world to call for a lock down, several people seem to have fallen for the false claim mistaking it for authentic news. The viral post has taken twitter with a storm.

A New York Post article dated April 15, 2016 carries the same image and reports the incident is from Johannesburg, South Africa. According to the NY Post article, the lion Columbus was borrowed by a local film company from a nearby lion park, and had been released on the street as part of a shooting.

Being a social media user, please avoiding spreading rumors. The world is already facing a deadly crisis and this type of news create more problem and panic. Try to use this platforms to encourage the public for doing the rights things. This is a best source to place a message which guides people, which help them. Instead of sharing fake news, we must share hadith and Quranic Ayahs so that people get guidance.

Spreading false news is also a sin. It is similar to lie. When we do these kind of things just to attract followers or fan or to increase the rating of our pages, website, we are committing a crime and thousands of people will be misguided because of us. Use it to help people and spread guidance not to disturb them with rumors.

Telling a lie is the biggest sin after shirk. It will erase our good deeds in no time. People are suffering. They are dying with the passage of every single minute and here we see people doing foolish things. Remember being a Muslim, we have to speak the truth and we should not spread rumors. We must do verification and some research on the news which comes to us.


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