WebQoof Recap: From Times Now’s Pangong Tso Gaffe to Trump on Jobs

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 US President Donald Trump tweeting about jobs being created in the US, but leaving out the larger picture, to Times Now using visuals from ‘3 Idiots’ shooting point on the Indian side of the Pangong Tso lake, in a bid to show the Chinese opening the lake to international tourists, here’s all that misled the public this week.

1. 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, 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 of 27.8 percent and so on.

“It is not as if the cut is only in India. It is a global crisis which has no relation to economics,” the tweet added. However, he later issued a correction with the correct figures and comparison.

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

India Today, too, in a broadcast, aired an infograph that showed US’ economy falling by 32.9 percent and India by 23.9 percent.

WebQoof Recap: From Times Now’s Pangong Tso Gaffe to Trump on Jobs
(Source: India Today/ Screenshot)

However, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) , the US economy contracted by 9.1 percent in April-June quarter.

The BEA released a report stating that the US economy shrank by 9.1 percent.
The BEA released a report stating that the US economy shrank by 9.1 percent.
(Source: BEA/ Altered by The Quint)

Further, as per another BEA report, the gross domestic product of US dropped at an annual rate of 31.7 percent in the same quarter of 2020.

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

Read the full story here.

2. Times Now Uses ‘3 Idiots’ Shooting Point to Report on Chinese Side

WebQoof Recap: From Times Now’s Pangong Tso Gaffe to Trump on Jobs
(Photo: Screenshot)

On 6 September, Times Now aired visuals of Chinese opening Pangong Tso Lake for international tourists amid border tensions with India.

The anchor can be heard saying, “The Chinese side in the Pangong lake has been thrown open to tourists now and these are the visuals that we have acquired. They are, of course, being disseminated by China themselves.”

Several news reports have been claiming that the Chinese have opened their side of Pangong Tso lake for tourists, which is true, but Times Now in a rush to show “exclusive footage” used videos from the Indian side of the lake.

We found that the visuals aired by the channel are from a shooting point in Ladakh for ‘3 Idiots’, a Bollywood film released in 2009.

Read the full story here.

3. Trump Says 10.6Mn Jobs Added in 4 Months – Facts Blot Rosy Picture

US President Donald Trump on Monday, 7 September, claimed that “10.6 million jobs had been created in four months” in the US, but it is actually a misrepresentation of facts.

WebQoof Recap: From Times Now’s Pangong Tso Gaffe to Trump on Jobs
(Source: Twitter/Donald Trump)

In reality, reports suggest he may actually have presided over the worst jobs creation track record since World War II in the US history. In fact, the unemployment numbers are close to those around the post 2008 recession numbers.

While the total number of jobs created in the US between May-August is about 10.5 million – close to the 10.6 million figure suggested by Trump – he is leaving out other related facts and figures that would provide the full picture.

Total non-farm payroll employment.
Total non-farm payroll employment.
(Graphic: The Quint)

Firstly, jobs recovery in the US actually slowed in August, with the figure by which jobs rose in August (1.4 million) falling short of that of July (1.8 million) and far lesser than June, when 4.8 million jobs were added.

Moreover, what Trump does not mention is that despite this addition of 10.6 million jobs, the US is still down by 11.5 million jobs from February, according to CNN.

Read the full story here.

4. No, Amartya Sen Didn’t Say Ban on PUBG Will Ruin Indian Economy

Social media users have claimed that Economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said that the ban of PUBG will ruin the Indian economy even further. This comes in the backdrop of India's Ministry of Information and Technology banning 118 Chinese mobile apps, including PUBG.

The claim reads: “Nobel winner economist amartya sen: banning of #PUBG will more ruin the indian economy. (sic)”

Tathagata Roy, former governor of Tripura, retweeted a tweet mentioning the same information and wrote: “Appropriate!”

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/f9tHz">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

Several social media users shared the same claim on Twitter and Facebook.

However, Amartya Sen’s daughter Antara Dev Sen told The Quint that he has not made any comment of the nature and that the quote is “fabricated”.

Read the full story here.

5. How Fake Twitter Accounts of Raj Thackeray Are Supporting Kangana

In light of a series of arguments and counter-arguments between Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut and politicians from Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress-led government, several imposter Twitter handles supporting Ranaut have cropped up in the name of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.

On 4 September, a fake tweet by this imposter account claiming that the MNS will be throwing a grand welcome for Kangana Ranaut when she returns to Mumbai, went viral.

An archived version of the account can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/eh5gc">here</a>.
An archived version of the account can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

With over 13,000 followers, this account was set up in August 2020 and has only tweeted in support of Kangana Ranaut ever since.

Roughly translated, the below tweet by the impostor account reads: “On 9 September, Hindu lioness Kangana Ranaut will be given a grand welcome in Maharashtra’s capital, Mumbai. Sanjay Raut, if you have courage, try and stop us.”

An archived version of the tweet can be accessed <a href="https://archive.is/u8UH1">here</a>.
An archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.
(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

We found that the fake handle had recently changed its username from @RealThackeray to @ThackerayOffic and then finally to @IRajThackeray29.

In addition to @IRajThackeray29, we followed the activity of several other impersonator accounts (@RaajThakrey, @realthakare, @TigarThakre) of the politician and were able to identify certain red flags –common to all – which raised questions regarding the veracity of these handles.

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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