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Viral Photo of Govt Facing ‘Record Loss of Rs 2.8L Cr' for 5G Auction Is Fake!

The viral clipping shows an edited version of Times Business, and the original does not discuss losses of any kind.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
Viral Photo of Govt Facing ‘Record Loss of Rs 2.8L Cr' for 5G Auction Is Fake!
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A purported screenshot of The Times of India's business section, Times Business, is being shared on social media.

The page carries news on the 5G spectrum auction, noting that the "5G auctions suffer a record loss of Rs 2.8 lakh Cr (sic.)" and shows the figure "2800000000000000" on the top of the page.

However, the screenshot is morphed. The original digital version of the newspaper only carries news regarding the auction and neither discusses "record losses," nor does it show a numerical figure on its front page.

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CLAIM

The purported screenshot of the page from the Business section of The Times of India was shared, claiming that the auction saw massive losses amounting to Rs 2.8 lakh crore.

The screenshot was shared by Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee's Social Media Vice Chairperson Pankhuri Pathak, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MLA TRB Rajaa, Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) MLA Chhotubhai Vasava, and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Andhra Pradesh's verified Facebook page.

(Note: Swipe right to view all claims.)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of this tweet can be seen <a href="https://perma.cc/9AHD-L4XP" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p></div>

    An archive of this tweet can be seen here.

    (Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of this tweet can be seen <a href="https://perma.cc/54CT-RWZJ" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p></div>

    An archive of this tweet can be seen here.

    (Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of this tweet can be seen <a href="https://perma.cc/K5ST-DQ25" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p></div>

    An archive of this tweet can be seen here.

    (Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

  • <div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of this tweet can be seen <a href="https://perma.cc/C7T3-HC83" rel="nofollow">here</a>.</p></div>

    An archive of this tweet can be seen here.

    (Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

More posts with similar claims can be seen here, here, and here.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

We saw that the article carried 'Pankaj Doval's' byline.

The article carried Pankaj Doval's byline.

(Source: Twitter/Altered by The Quint)

We looked for Pankaj Doval on social media platforms and found a verified Twitter account by the same name, that identified him as Times of India's national editor. Here, we came across a tweet that carried a photo of the same front page.

The daily's national editor shared the page on his verified Twitter account.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

We saw that the story discussed the end of the 5G spectrum auctions on Monday, 1 August, which "fetched a record Rs 1.5 lakh crore for the exchequer," as the government prepared to launch the telecom services from October later this year.

It mentioned that Jio, owned by Mukesh Ambani, was the biggest buyer, spending Rs 88,708 crores. This was followed by Airtel, which spent Rs 43,084 crores to secure its share of the spectrum.

The morphed version of the screenshot appears to add extra space in the photo to accommodate the numerical figure, and it used a changed font of another headline next to the lead story.

While the original version of the paper carries a headline mentioned 5G to be the "dawn of a new era" in India's telecommunications business, the altered version displays a headline on 5G offering "economic and social benefits."

There are significant differences between both photos.

(Source: Twitter/Altered by The Quint)

A notable discrepancy in the altered version of the news clipping is that the number in the headline contains 14 zeroes, which is 2,800 lakh crores, while the text mentions '2.8 lakh crores'.

Evidently, the viral clipping that the government suffered "record losses" of Rs 2.8 lakh crores during the 5G spectrum auction is an edited one.

(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.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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