In December 2022, a tweet circulated on social media platforms alleging the current Pakistan cricket team skipper, Babar Azam. The tweet alleges the Pakistani captain is involved in an “unacceptable relationship” with the girlfriend of another cricket player.
The meme jibes at the Pakistani captain that he has been texting with the girlfriend of another sportsman. As this tweet continued to circulate on Twitter and Facebook, commentators went crazy on Babar Azam. Soon after, the meme turned into global news. Fox Cricket, an Australian news outlet, probed into it and found that it was “just a meme” shared on a meme Twitter account.
Nonetheless, further investigations of Fox Cricket revealed that the meme had “no truth” in it. The user, who remained anonymous, confessed that the meme was meant to be a jibe.
The Rise of Fake News in the Cricketing World
Now, the problem is that the current skipper of the Pakistan cricket team is an affluent personality – not only in Pakistan but in all cricket-loving countries. Thus, the Pakistani captain is a global celebrity. And if a word of notoriety is said against a sportsman like Babar Azam, it takes no time to spread across the world. Thus, this is what exactly happened when a mere meme alleged the Pakistani captain.
To add salt to the injuries, the anonymous Twitter user who shared the post is nowhere to be found. And the original post has already been removed from Twitter. But the scars that this mere Twitter post left on Pakistani skipper are everlasting.
Talking to the local media in Pakistan, Babar Azam said that he was “disturbed” after the circulation of fake news about him on social media. When the “character assassination” became national and international news, it was more bothersome, asserted the Pakistani skipper. Furthermore, he argues that the allegation “diverted his attention” from cricket – which may impact his career as a captain of the Pakistan cricket team.
Authorities Need to Take Strict Measures Against ‘Keyboard Warriors’
So, the elephant really needs to be addressed here, once and for all. Social media platforms and Meta should ensure that no fake news is spread on these platforms.
Playing cricket in a country like Pakistan, where cricket fans go crazy during a match, is a herculean task. Players are exposed to extreme pressure because of the utopian expectations that the netizens have of these players.
And at this point, diverting the “one-man army” of the Pakistan cricket team with fake news is no good. Personally, it is an attack on the character of the sipper of the Pakistan cricket team. And at the national level, it can impact the performance of the Pakistani captain. As a result, this can put the career of Babar Azam can be put in jeopardy.
That is why authorities need to take strict action against people who spread fake news. Plus, news outlets need to ensure that they verify the news prior to sharing it.