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)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

ICC World Cup 2015: England announce 15-man squad

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4: Australia win by 4 wickets, take 2-0 lead in the series

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

Jason Holder congratulated by Darren Sammy on earning West Indies ODI captaincy

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India were distracted by practice pitches and food, claims local media

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2014-15: Brendon McCullum returns as middle-order batsman

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Leon Johnson urges Windies batsmen to perform better

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: MS Dhoni says there was miscommunication regarding Shikhar Dhawan’s injury

Batsman given hit wicket after mobile phone falls on stumps

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here