In what seems to be wicked propaganda against Pepsi, social media has been agog with rumours that Pepsi Cola (world’s number one rival to Coca Cola) was infecting consumers with HIV. But investigations now reveal that the false Pepsi HIV story is not about Nigeria but a fake UK Metropolitan Police statement claiming the soft drink contained infected blood.
This has since been denied by the UK Metropolitan Police and there was no Sky News report on this false story. Medical experts have said that the HIV virus cannot survive up to five minutes outside human body, let alone in a bottle of soda.
According to a report first published by The Sun UK, Pepsi was hit by a sick hoax after a fake Met police statement was shared online claiming that the fizzy drink contained HIV-infected blood.
The message – falsely attributed to Met Police – claimed that Pepsi bottles in the United Kingdom (UK) were contaminated. It began recirculating on social media in Britain after previously appearing in a different format in India.
The message also said that the incident was “shown on Sky News”. The origins of the hoax go back to 2011, where a version of it appeared on Indian social networking sites and in email chains.
In a statement, Met police said: “This is being treated as a hoax”, adding “the allegation is unsubstantiated.”
This highlights the many disasters that the widespread misuse of social media is foisting on brands, institutions, countries and individuals. And so people, don’t believe everything you see or are told on social media.