WebQoof Recap: Of Graves of PLA Soldiers & Fake Rana Ayyub Tweet

Here’s a quick round-up of the WhatsApp forwards and fake tweets that misled the public this week.

Published
WebQoof
5 min read
Here’s a quick round-up of the WhatsApp forwards and fake tweets that misled the public this week.
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From news channels using old images to show Chinese soldiers killed in Galwan clashes to a fake viral tweet on Pranab Mukerjee being attributed to journalist Rana Ayyub, here’s all that misled the public this week.

1. News Channels Use Old Images to Show PLA Soldiers Killed in Galwan

Several news channels including Times Now, Aaj Tak, and India Today shared old visuals to make claims around the number of Chinese PLA soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley clash that took place between the troops of China and India on 15 June.

Anchor Rohit Sardana claimed that news channel Aaj Tak had accessed “exclusive” footage of the graves of “40 PLA soldiers” who were killed in the 15 June clash. The bulletin showed an aerial view of a cemetery in which several graves could be seen.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/JEK7i">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Times Now, went a step ahead and claimed that the pictures aired by the channel show 106 PLA tomb stones and “reveal extent of Chinese casualties in June 15 Galwan clash [sic].”

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/o4uuG">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

While the Indian side stated that the clash led to the loss of 20 Indian soldiers, the Chinese government has not released the official number of casualties yet.

You can read the full story here.

2. US GDP Fell 9.1%, Not 33% as Social Media Claimed Post Indian Drop

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) dropped 23.9 percent in the April-June quarter, revealing the extent of damage the pandemic has caused to the country’s economy.

Soon after, several users on social media claimed that the economy of the United States of America saw a contraction of nearly 33 percent and that India is not the worst-hit country.

S Gurumurthy, a well-known chartered accountant and political economy commentator and part of Reserve Bank of India’s Central Board, tweeted that the United States witnessed a drop of 33 percent, Japan as 27.8 percent and so on.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/r6AY3">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

But, the social media users actually compared India’s year-on-year numbers with US’ quarter-on-quarter numbers that were annualised.

You can read the full story here.

3. Fake Tweet on Pranab Mukherjee Attributed to Rana Ayyub Goes Viral

After former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away on 31 August, screenshot of a fake tweet attributed to journalist Rana Ayyub started doing the rounds on social media.

According to the viral screenshot, Ayyub, after the demise of Pranab Mukherjee tweeted, “Afzal Guru is at peace today”.

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/1Y3qi">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

We searched Ayyub’s Twitter timeline and found no such tweet following which we carefully analysed the tweet in the viral screenshot and compared its format with that of other tweets.

You can read the full story here.

4. Unrelated Images Viral on Internet With False ‘Love Jihad’ Spin

Two unrelated images of a couple are being shared along with a dead body surrounded by cops to claim that it was a case of “love jihad” in which the woman – a Hindu – was murdered by a Muslim man after their wedding. ‘

The aforementioned images are being massively circulated on Twitter and Facebook with the text: “Love Jihaad always Ends at the deàth of Hindu Girl”. In addition to this, #MuslimsAreJihadi is also being used in the caption.

On 27 August, a Twitter account which goes by the name “BJP Balochistan” shared these images with the fake claim and the tweet had garnered above 8,000 likes and 4,000 retweets at the time of filing this report.

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

However, we found that while the couple seen in the first two photographs did have an interfaith marriage, both of them are alive and have nothing to do with the woman in the third photograph whose corpse was found in a suitcase.

You can read the full story here.

6. BJP’s Infographic on India’s Growth is Based on Old Data From IMF!

BJP Twitter handles recently shared an infographic based on data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), claiming to show that the global organisation had projected positive growth for India in 2020.

The infographic, shared by the BJP Twitter handle on 22 August, claimed that while other major economies were projected to have negative growth in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, IMF data showed that India would be a “shining spot” and would register positive growth.

The graphic is titled “India’s spectacular economic fightback during COVID-19” and says that it will register the highest GDP growth among countries.

An archived version of this post can be seen <a href="https://archive.is/XoqV0">here</a>.
An archived version of this post can be seen here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)

However, we found that the infographic is based on old data and is making misleading claims. The latest IMF data actually shows that India’s 2020 projected growth is minus (-) 4.5 percent, while global growth is projected at minus (-) 4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast, owing to the devastating effects of the pandemic.

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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