‘Fake critics’ spreading fake news about Bollywood stars; experts call out the rubbish | Bollywood

That social media has become a negative place today, is a fact. Boycott calls for films, threats to people alarmingly became commonplace until quite recently.

While on one hand we also have actors such as Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt pursuing the legal way against the pap who pepped inside their homes and shot a video, there’s another set of negativity breeding: accounts conjuring up fake news about actors’ personal lives. Just because they get a verified blue tick on Twitter, they feel that they can, in the garb of being a critic and adult gossip-monger, get away with writing defamatory tweets.

The latest example of this is a Twitter user, based outside of India and known for writing vile things about actors, claiming falsely that Akshay Kumar had allegedly harassed Disha Patani while on a tour abroad with other actors. While the actor has maintained silence and not given any attention to this rubbish, it was enough to grab eyeballs. What these Twitter trolls (and pages) don’t realise is that this negativity can damage a person’s professional and personal reputation, beyond repair.

The same Twitter handle also tweeted fake, malicious news such as this: Vijay Deverakonda finding “Timepass love” in Samantha Ruth Prabhu, and staying “together in hotel room in Srinagar”. Another one: Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna allegedly breaking up because he got “bored” of her after sleeping with her. And the latest: making false claims that Kiara Advani is in the first month of her pregnancy.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh is miffed with the absolute nonsense these handles spew. “They have been writing rubbish over the past few years. These accounts need to be deactivated in the first place. This rumour about Akshay started from a guy who’s a joke. He copied my film reviews as well, which I called out on my Twitter account. He is such a fake. If you notice, he is only writing bedroom stories. These trolls write bullsh*t day in and day out,” he opines.

Maybe because most of these handles are based out of India, they don’t come under the Indian cyber laws for any action to be taken and find refuge in that, we ask. “Probably. But I am not expert enough to comment on that. These trolls are attention seekers. The industry should ignore them,” adds Adarsh.

Ad guru Prahlad Kakkar has the same thought, “Because these celebs are soft targets, anybody can bajao them. They have no record, who the person is, posting fake or malicious news.”

India remains a country where cricket and films are a religion in themselves. Which is why anything written about film stars gets traction, and these trolls peddling fake news know that well.

Producer Pritish Nandy points this out when he tells us, “First of all, Twitter is increasingly becoming a toxic space. trolls have taken charge of most of the Spaces as well. It is not just with regards to Bollywood, it is with regard to all successful, well known people. They keep attacking them, multiple times, just to draw attention to themselves. Today there’s a belief that if you attack famous people, you become famous yourself. Based on that principle, these trolls function all over the place. There’s a regular troll army which operates, primarily driven by political goals. They find Bollywood and it’s actors as soft targets to go after. This is free flowing toxicity. Elon Musk must do something, otherwise it will move people away from the medium.”

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