Times of India falls prey to fake news. Again.

By NL Team

Published on :

On March 18, Times of India published a story about a Coimbatore college potentially barring students from imitating Priya Varrier’s wink in classrooms. The source of the story, however, seems to be a fake circular that is doing the rounds on social media. 

The story that warns “potential girlfriends and boyfriends” is headlined: “Wink like Priya Varrier and you will be debarred, Coimbatore college tells students!”. And states that: “According to reports, a college in Coimbatore has banned its girl students from winking like her!” The story, however, provides neither the link nor an image of this alleged circular, confirmation or inputs from the college authorities is also missing. 

The January 24 circular was issued under the name of Coimbatore’s VLB Janakiammal College of Arts and Science. While the reporter should have verified the details of the circular with the college authorities, the circular itself should have raised eyebrows. One of the reasons being the circular’s issuing date — January 24 — which is nearly two weeks before Varrier’s wink went viral.

Second, the inconsistency in font size and font type also creates questions about the circular’s official nature and, in turn, its authenticity. Speaking to Newslaundry, a college official confirmed that the circular is fake.

Earlier, Times of India has also reported on an apparent “war of words” between Tamilians and Kannadigas over the origins of Mysuru Pak. The source of that story was a photoshopped image. TOI has not yet corrected its fake circular story.