"I never thought I would have to post a status update to assert proof of life," wrote the famed Ityadi host, Hanif Sanket, in a Facebook post.
"A group of perverted social media users are spreading false information about others including death rumours of people to generate a following."
Hanif Sanket wrote, "They lack basic humanity and don't even consider how a rumoured death of a person can terribly impact his family and friends."
The Business Standard reached out to the famed host to learn more.
When did you first become aware of this rumour?
I heard about the rumour on Monday. Someone shared a TikTok video link. The caption of that video read 'Hanif Sanket died in a road accident'. The video had a picture of a white microbus in the thumbnail. I reported the video immediately which rendered it invisible to me. What I did not realise was that it was still viewable by everyone else. By evening time I saw another video titled 'Finally, Hanif Sankeet is no more.'
Yes, finally. Since they spread rumours that I had a road accident, they wrote finally. Afterwards some people sent me a few links on facebook and told me how people were propagating the rumours. This happened Tuesday night at around 12 am. I was dismissive and retired for the night. But things were getting out of hand that day.
People from my office called me and said they were receiving countless calls. I started getting calls from my relatives, friends and fans, even those overseas. People from Canada, Sweden, USA and those who worked with me in Ityadi were disturbed by the rumours about my sudden demise.
I had to field calls the whole day assuaging people's concern and eventually turned for help to the cyber crime department.
Did the cyber crime unit take any action?
Yes, they have taken action. Also I'd like to remind people to actually verify the things they share.
Those who shared the rumours claim to be your fans?
Some naïve fans shared the news of my death because they fell for the viral headline. I harbour no ill will towards them. But I have a problem with those who fabricate the rumour in the first place.
Earlier, such rumours were also spread about veteran actors ATM Shamsuzzaman, Farooq, Razzak.
Spreading such rumours is highly unethical. All the aforementioned actors were unwell when their death rumours were spread. But, I am not suffering from any disease. Why would someone manufacture a false rumour about someone who is in perfectly good health?
Everyone has to die when their turn arrives. Even my turn will arrive one day. But, that doesn't mean people can declare my death on Facebook when I am alive.
What are your current projects?
I am busy with the upcoming Eid special of Ityadi which will air on 29 July. I am also working on two other projects, one of which is called 'Paach Foron'.