Most online publishers have only this sole concern – “How to get more hits or make a story viral on social?” The easy way to do that is to give a sensational title and publish it. The article gets more hits and conversations happen on social media based on the title (people hardly read before they hit the retweet button). Within no time we have a viral article and that is what today ‘The Hindu’ had done with a controversial headline – “Couples who have premarital sex to be considered ‘married,’ says HC.” Thankfully, Firstpost has come up with a counter article which quotes the Hindu article and states how people didn’t even bother to read the entire article and were busy tweeting their sick humor.
As stated by Hindu (in the below paras in the article) the ruling that was passed by Justice C.S. Karnan, Madras High Court was against a maintenance claim made by a woman, who had lived with her partner and had two children with him. The court was listening to an April 2006 case which was filed in a Coimbatore family court. The lower court had then stated that since the marriage had not been proved by documentary evidence so the women would not be entitled to any kind of maintenance.
However Justice Karnan has ruled out that decision on the grounds that,
“It is not disputed that the petitioner has been a spinster before she gave birth and that the respondent was a bachelor before developing sexual relationship with the petitioner. Both of them led their marital life under the same shelter and begot two children. Therefore, the petitioner’s rank has been elevated as the `wife’ of the respondent and likewise, the respondent’s rank has been elevated as the `husband’ of the petitioner. Therefore, the children born to them are legitimate children and the petitioner is the legitimate wife of the respondent.”
With the new ruling Judge Karnan has directed the woman’s husband to pay her a monthly maintenance of Rs.500 from the date of petition, i.e. from September 2000. Now that is a decision that should have been cheered but alas the real message was lost and a misleading statement proved how wrong the Madras High Court was.
Impact of a misleading title from Hindu
The result of this misleading title led to Madras High Court trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons. Hashtag #MadrasHC was trending at the top India trends and I am sure it will trend the entire day. Thanks to the witty Twitter influencers who as usual added their bit, for once even I was caught in this incident.
Karunanidhi: Hahaha. I’ve been married three times. Sunny Leone: Hehe. Poda, amateur. #MadrasHC
— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) June 18, 2013
According to #MadrasHC I got only 543 wives n one of my friend got 900 but thanks God my all wives are in abroad. Nobody is in India.
— Kamaal R Khan – KRK (@kamaalrkhan) June 18, 2013
But then they can’t be blamed completely, as Hindu being a reputed publication, should have thought twice before charging up such a misleading title. Interestingly, Firstpost which threw light on the Hindu article’s misleading title and impact, is also guilty of the same. Recently Firstpost had published an article on how Cocoberry, the frozen yoghurt chain had cracked social media. The article that has been deleted after we reported about it with the right facts, not only had a misleading title but the content was baseless too.
Bad things or message spread fast on social media so time to think before we hit the enter button.
Image courtesy: The Hindu