Couple of Tweets from Hyundai and Kia distributor in Pakistan led to widespread hatred through as many reacted without verifying facts
Thanks to various technological advancements, social networks are now highly accessible by anyone, anytime and anywhere, which, in turn, means that information now spreads faster than ever and often, without a credibility check. This has brought unparalleled problems with ensuring fact checks and verifying the reliability of the word. No wonder, then, that misinformation spreading is widely prevalent especially to grab eyeballs through sensationalising. Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recently found itself at the centre of a rumour as #BoycottHyundai started trending on various social media platforms.
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What started as a Tweet posted by a Hyundai dealership in Pakistan was quick to be blown out of proportion by several social media users back in India. Hours after the hashtag started trending, Hyundai Motor India issued a clear statement condemning the insensitive communication and its unwarranted linkage with the aforementioned Tweets. The carmaker said,“Hyundai Motor India has been committed to the Indian market for more than 25 years now and we stand firmly for our strong ethos of respecting nationalism. The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offending our unparalleled commitment and service to this great country. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards insensitive communication and we strongly condemn any such view.” Another statement condemning the act of the Pakistani distributor can be seen below-
Many Netizens Cancel Bookings As #BoycottHyundai Picks Up Steam
The message in solidarity with Kashmir freedom supports was first posted by a Hyundai Pakistan dealership’s account, @HyundaiPakistanOfficial. A similar message was then Tweeted by another account that belonged to a Kia dealership in Pakistan. The fact that Kia is owned by Hyundai Motor Group further enraged Indian netizens. In fact, the hatred towards the carmaker was suddenly intense that many even reported cancelling their bookings of a Hyundai vehicle.
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Hyundai Motor India Ltd debuted in 1996 and has been the second most popular carmaker ever since. Other than enjoying a huge popularity among car buyers, it has time and again shown its commitment towards to India through various CSR initiatives. Clearly, it’s unfortunate when organizations suffer from widespread backlash for sensitive social posts not made by the official channel. But it surely looks like it will be a while before the social media users learn to identify rumours from online platforms, especially micro-blogging websites.