Home > Features >

‘Shane Warne’ tweet pillorying MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina highlights the peril of landmines on social media

The fake tweet from Shane Warne's (left) account on MS Dhoni (cntre) and Suresh Raina (right) is not a one-off thing in this age of social media © Getty Images
The tweet supposedly by Shane Warne (left) slamming MS Dhoni (centre) and Suresh Raina (right) highlights the perils of social media © Getty Images

Shane Warne’s sensational tweet slamming MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina seemed a reckless act, till the Australian clarified matters. H Natarajan dwells on the controversy that shattered Sunday morning bliss for Indian cricket fans.

Shane Warne is a controversy-addict. His list of controversies is as spectacularly long as his tally of wickets… testing positive for a banned drug, extra-marital affairs and a litany of scandals involving women, squabble with boys who had photographed him smoking (he had a sponsorship of a nicotine patch company in return for quitting smoking), acting as an informer for a bookmaker about pitch and weather conditions, an ugly on-field spat with Marlon Samuels… its an endless list.

Warne just added another to that list — or, it seemed so. One woke up on Sunday morning to find that ‘he’ had tweeted, “If 17year old Amir could be banned for 5 years, why not Dhoni & Raina with 6 others?”

Seemed
Seemed

It seemed Warne belatedly realised, or was made to realise, that his tweet had the potential to destroy a good chunk of his personal wealth should Mahendra Singh Dhoni and/or Suresh Raina seek legal redress against the libelous tweet. Twitteratis assumed Warne was trying to cover his tracks by deleting his sensational tweet, but which time 34 had apparently retweeted and 48 had favourited. The damage was seemingly done. With 1.5 million people following Warne, the damage looked considerable.

But several hours after the much-talked-about tweet became the talk of Twitterverse, Warne clarified that it was a “made up tweet” that he did not send it. He also added that the matter has been reported to the police.

Full coverage of Supreme Court hearing on IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal

It did seem astonishing how a man who has been globe-trotting for nearly quarter of a century and who does extensive media work was not discreet in choosing his words — especially about public personalities. It’s true that the Indian cricket captain has been in centre of a storm that is raging Indian cricket. But as things presently stand, it’s nothing more than allegations against Dhoni. And allegations mean nothing till it’s conclusively proved in the court of law. Dhoni is the 16th highest paid athlete in the world, ahead of even megastars like Rafael Nadal and Usain Bolt, while Warne is one of the titans in the history of crickets and his words would be taken very seriously by the masses. The tweet had the destructive power to cause pecuniary loss.

Even if it was a bit late, the Warne clarification ensured that the mischief was brought under control and fact set right. However, the incident emphatically proves how vulnerable people can be in the age of social media; even those who exercise extreme cautious got hoodwinked into thinking that it’s from the verified Shane Warne.

One can traverse the Cyberspace endlessly, but the bogus Shane Warne tweet shows that one has to be eternally watchful of landmines in the form of fakes and photoshopped pictures.

And it was not even an April 1 post to laugh it as an all-Fool’s Day joke.

(H Natarajanformerly All India Deputy Sports Editor of the Indian Express and Senior Editor with Cricinfo/Wisden, is the Executive Editor of CricketCountry.com. A prolific writer, he has written for many of the biggest newspapers, magazines and websites all over the world. A great believer in the power of social media, he can be followed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/H.Natarajan and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/hnatarajan)

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia Zimbabwe vs Australia 2014

Supreme Court refuses to reinstate N Srinivasan as BCCI president

Supreme Court gives Mudgal commission two more months to investigate IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal

Mudgal Committee may recommend Chennai Super Kings expulsion from IPL

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe delighted with historic win against Australia

Michael Clarke terms Australia’s performance as ‘terrible’ against Zimbabwe in 4th ODI

David Bairstow: A champion claimed by depression

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Enforcement Directorate begins probe against a dozen online e-retail firms

Obi S400, Obi S450, Obi S500, Obi Python S452 and Obi Wolverine launched, prices start from Rs 4,200

5 shades of pink lipsticks that every girl should try

Ek Hasina Thi: Why is Sakshi finding satisfaction in Shaurya’s pain?

Michael Clarke says Australia were terrible against Zimbabwe

Centre deliberately denying power to Maharashtra: Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan

8 things that affect your bone health adversely

NGOs pursue education for all

Mudgal Committee may recommend Chennai Super Kings expulsion from IPL

Diesel at almost market price as under-recovery falls to 8 paise

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here