WebQoof Recap: Of Shah’s Claim on Sri Lanka, Trump’s Morphed Tweet

Here’s a quick recap of all that misled the public this week.

Published
WebQoof
5 min read
Here’s a quick recap of all that misled the public this week.
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From Union Home Minister Amit Shah making a misleading claim about the India Housing Project in Sri Lanka to a morphed tweet claiming that US President Donald J Trump confused football legend Diego Maradona with iconic American singer and songwriter Madonna, here’s a quick recap of all that misled the public this week.

1. Shah Says Modi Built Homes in Sri Lanka, Omits UPA Started Project

While addressing a gathering in Chennai on 21 November, Union Home Minister Amit Shah referred to the India Housing Project in Sri Lanka and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for construction of houses for Tamils in Jaffna, a region which was once ravaged by strife.

While it is true that the Indian government did fund the project with the aim to support the resettlement and rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Northern and Eastern Province in Sri Lanka, what is missing from Shah’s statement is the mention that the project was announced in 2010 by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh with a total outlay of US $270 million, as per the information available on the website of Consulate General of India.

While Shah’s statement isn’t completely false as the project continued post 2014 (when PM Modi-led NDA government came to power), it lacks context and thus is misleading.

You can read the full story here.

2. Did Trump Confuse Maradona With Madonna? No, Tweet Is Morphed

A screenshot of a tweet posted by US President Donald J Trump has gone viral, claiming that he confused football legend Diego Maradona with iconic American singer and songwriter Madonna.

An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://archive.is/wBmlq">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Facebook)

We went through Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and didn’t see the viral tweet on it.

A website that archives all of Trump’s tweets also didn’t have any record of a tweet on Maradona. Additionally, ProPublica, a US-based nonprofit organisation, which maintains a repository of all the deleted tweets by Trump didn’t have any trace of this tweet.

We then analysed the viral tweet with a real tweet on Trump’s feed. While comparing the viral tweet with Trump’s tweet on the mobile application, we saw several big errors.

We also compared the viral tweet with a tweet on Tweetdeck, a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. While there were a couple of similarities in this view, we found errors here as well.

You can read the full story here.

3. Clip of BKS Iyenger From 1938 Viral as ‘PM Modi Practising Yoga’

A black and white video of BKS Iyenger — popularly known as the father of modern Iyenger Yoga — is doing the rounds on social media with a false claim that it is a rare video of Prime Minister Narendra Modi practising Yoga.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/SHrqJ">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

We fragmented the viral clip into multiple keyframes using the InVid Google Chrome extension and ran a reverse image search on one of the frames.

This directed us to several YouTube videos and blogs which suggested that the person seen in the clip is BKS Iyenger — the father of Iyenger Yoga.

Further, we looked for BKS Iyenger 1938 reel and found a DVD of the session being sold by UK-based Iyenger Yoga Centre. The cover of the DVD as displayed on the website of the Yoga centre matched with a frame in the viral video.

You can read the full story here.

4. Candles Cause More Air Pollution Than Crackers? Experts Disagree!

With several states imposing a ban on firecrackers this Diwali, several social media users shared a post which falsely suggests that the air pollution caused by a candle is more than that of firecrackers.

The post compares the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by a candle and a firecracker to state that candles should be banned during Christmas celebrations, since they cause much more pollution.

You can view an archived version <a href="https://archive.is/PFEKo">here</a>.
You can view an archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

We spoke to experts who rubbished the claims and said that the comparison wasn’t the right one.

Speaking to The Quint, Abhijit Mazumdar, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay, stated that comparing the carbon dioxide production of a candle and a firecracker, and then saying the candle is more harmful, is wrong.

“It’s like comparing oranges with eggs and saying that oranges are worse because they have less protein,” he said.

“The reason why we say firecrackers cause more pollution is not because they produce carbon dioxide, but because they also produce a lot of other hazardous chemicals which a candle, made of simple paraffin wax does not have. For example, sulphur and metal oxides.”
Abhijit Mazumdar, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, IIT Bombay

You can read the full story here.

5. Old Video & CGI Simulation Shared as Cyclone Nivar Visuals in TN

Since Cyclone Nivar began its landfall near Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, 25 November, social media has been flooded with visuals of the storm.

We came across two videos that have been falsely shared as scenes from different areas of Tamil Nadu during the cyclone.

VIDEO 1

An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://archive.is/7Gpf3">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)

We came across a few videos that were posted in 2017. We found the same video posted on YouTube on 4 November 2017, which was titled “Chennai flood 2017 | Shocking footage from Marina beach road”.

To verify if the viral image was indeed from Chennai’s Marina beach, we looked for the images of the place on Google Street View. We found multiple similarities between the viral video and Google’s street view images.

VIDEO 2

An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://archive.is/gdO2I">here</a>.
An archive of the post can be found here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)

We noticed that the water in the video was still despite a storm overhead, and since there’s a funnel of clouds, which is a characteristic of tornadoes, we performed a keyword search of ‘tornado CGI’.

We came across a video on YouTube from December 2018, uploaded by user Alexandru Dineci, with the caption, “Tornado CGI simulation (Cinema 4D TurbulenceFD).”

He had also uploaded the viral video on his Instagram account (@orphicframer) in 2019, with the hashtags ‘visual effects’ and ‘CGI.’ He identifies the location as Channel Islands, Jersey.

You can read the full story here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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