Bollywood celebrities are in uproar over a serious journalistic gaff by Indian television channel NDTV.
On Friday NDTV repeatedly quoted from a Twitter account attributed to an individual claiming to be Kajol Devgan, to be seen starring opposite Shahrukh Khan in My Name is Khan. The person, posting under the name @kajolnysa was widely quoted in the media regarding the Shiv Sena threat to obstruct the February 12th opening of My Name is Khan in Mumbai:
“@ all mumbaikars, Dont worry people, even chengez khan cant stop MNIK release, relax and let all your positive energy flow here.”
This quote was attributed to Kajol with apparently no effort to verify whether the Twitter account was legitimate.
Kajol has made a statement to NDTV explicitly stating that she is not on Twitter: “Those comments on Twitter are NOT me. It is a fake ID. I have not commented on Twitter on any issues. I am not on Twitter.”
Several Bollywood celebrities, among them Abhishek Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh and Karan Johar tweeted their disgust at the media.
“Apparently the media is flashing quotes tweeted by Kajol on the TV. Very weird. I know for a fact that Kajol IS NOT on twitter!!!”
“Whoever is pretending to be her is a fake! And what they are doing is wrong and unlawful. STOP!”
“Is this not irresponsible?”
“I thought NDTV india a respectable channel. Its sad to see them being irresponsible and putting the FAKE KAJOL QUOTE- take ACTION NDTV.”
“KAJOL is NOT on TWITTER- before putting her quotes on d tv channel one shld confirm its the real person.”
While Twitter does have a system to ‘verify’ celebrity users, the verification process can be very slow and several Bollywood celebrities are still waiting for their verification to be awarded. In the meantime, fans wondering if the star they are following is the real deal are advised that Filmfare (@filmfare) and Karan Johar (@kjohar25) are very good at informing the public about who is and isn’t on Twitter.