Poonam Pandey: Fake cancer death of India actress sparks ethics debate

Poonam Pandey: Fake cancer death of India actress sparks ethics debate
MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA - 2022/01/18: Bollywood actress, Poonam Pandey seen during media interaction in Mumbai. (Photo by Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via shabby pictures)shabby pictures

A heated discussion about the moral ambiguities surrounding website publicity campaigns has been sparked by a social media post claiming that an American actress had passed away from cervical cancer and by the following video declaring that she was still alive.

The 32-year-old celebrity “bravely fought the condition” and passed away, according to a statement posted on Poonam Pandey’s official Instagram account on Friday.

Many people believed the article, news outlets quickly reported the announcement of her passing, and social media was rife with praise for the artist.

Pant has performed in a few movies, but her contentious website articles and publicity campaigns made her famous. The artist made a promise in 2011 to strip off if the Indian cricket team won the World Cup, but she broke her word.

Singh claimed to have “faked her fate” and that the Instagram post she shared with her 1.3 million followers was a part of an effort to raise awareness of cervical cancer only one day after her “death.”

” All of a sudden, we’re all talking about cervical cancer, are n’t we?” In the film, Ms. Pandey adds that she was “proud” of what the news of her death “was able to accomplish.”

Due to the fact that cervical cancer does not initially manifest any obvious symptoms, it is frequently referred to as a” silent killer.” Over 77, 000 women in India die from the disease each time, making it the second-most common cancer in women after breast cancer.
However, because the HPV ( human papilloma virus ) vaccination guards against high-risk strains of the virus that cause cancer, it is also among the most curable cancers. However, since the vaccination does not provide protection against all cancer-causing HPV strains, women are advised to keep up their routine cervical cancer screenings.

An old woman without wearing a safety mask covered her face with a cloth, crossing through the lane of a city bus terminus in Kolkata, India on July 1, 2021. West Bengal Govt has given certain restrictions on the lockdown effective from 1st july to 15th july. Bus, auto and toto services has been resumed with 50% capacity. Saloon, parlour and gym can be opened with 50% customers. Local train and metro will not be operational as per the Indian media report. Though the bus services were not regular as bus service unions protest to hike the bus fare and appealed for compulsory vaccination for all bus service operators. (Photo by Dipayan Bose/NurPhoto via shabby pictures)

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India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Thursday, the day before Pandey pretended to be dead, that the government was taking action to treat girls between the ages of nine and fourteen, though she made no specific mention of the campaign.

Some social media users assumed that Pandey’s post was part of a government plan to publicize the HPV vaccine because of the timing of it, but neither the state nor Pantey have made any connections between the two.

Her article and video over the weekend sparked discussion about how to raise awareness of a major problem like cervical cancer.

Many people criticized the social media campaign for being insensitive toward those fighting cancer or those who had lost family members to the illness, while a few praised it for” disturbing” people enough to make them care about the condition.

On X ( previously Twitter ), one user wrote,” Death is not a joke,” while another, who had lost his father to cancer as an infant, said the campaign was upsetting because it brought back painful memories.

Some people even criticized the internet for reporting on Pandey’s passing without doing any research.

The Indian internet died after Poonam Pandey, according to reports. There were no fact checks or verifications, so it did n’t matter. She has resurrected immediately. One person on X wrote,” Can’t say the same about our journalism.

However, some journalists defended their choice by claiming that the writer’s “official Instagram profile” had shared it.

The social media company behind the campaign, Schbang, issued an apology to those who were” triggered” by it on Saturday.

In a speech, the organization stated that” Our actions were driven by one objective- to raise awareness about cervical cancer,” while also disseminating statistics on the occurrence of the illness in India.

Additionally, it stated that Pandey’s mom had battled cancer and “understands the importance of protection and the singularity of awareness, particularly when there is a vaccine accessible.”

However, the reaction against the plan has n’t already subsided.

People are now debating whether it is acceptable for success to take precedence over ethics when it comes to developing “viral” campaigns like this one. Some have even questioned whether ads, the media, or viewers are in charge of establishing these standards.

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