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Fact-Check: This Screenshot Doesn’t Show Washington Post’s Take On Chandrayaan-3

The screenshot shows a reader's comment under an article published by The Washington Post.

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The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) successful soft landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the southern pole of the moon made history on 23 August. This event was widely reported by media organisations across the world.

Some social media users are sharing a screenshot from American news organisation The Washington Post's website, claiming that the organisation had "surprisingly positive" things to say about Chandrayaan-3.

What are users sharing?: Users have shared a screenshot, claiming that it shows an article by The Washington Post.

  • In the screenshot, the text calls the number of women on Chandrayaan-3 mission control "inspiring," remarking on how engineers from "second-string engineering colleges" in India made up the team behind the launch.

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  • It goes on to laud the "depth of talent in India," saying that despite giving away "the first echelon" of talent to companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, it still has "enough left over to soft land a space craft on the moon."

The screenshot shows a reader's comment under an article published by The Washington Post.

An archive of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

(Archives of more claims on social media can be seen here, here, here, and here.)

Did The Washington Post publish that?: Nope. The screenshot shows a comment left by a user 'SandersRavilyn' under the publication's article about Chandrayaan-3.

How did we find out?: We noticed a few things in the screenshot.

  • At the top of the screenshot, we saw the words 'Most liked' and that a name above the text read 'SandersRavilyn'.

  • Additionally, there was an option to reply to the text, which also showed 17 'likes' in the same line.

The screenshot shows a reader's comment under an article published by The Washington Post.

The screenshot carried signs of the text being a comment.

(Source: Facebook/Altered by The Quint)

Using the name as a keyword, we looked for Washington Post's article on Google.

  • This led us to an article with the headline 'India’s lunar landing leaves a nation enthralled and briefly unified' published on 24 August, authored by Gerry Shih.

The screenshot shows a reader's comment under an article published by The Washington Post.

The article was published on 24 August, a day after Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the moon.

(Source: The Washington Post/Screenshot)

We went through this article's body, but did not find the text in the viral screenshot.

  • On reaching the comments section under this article, we sorted them based on the 'most liked' ones, where we came across SandersRavilyn's name.

  • With this, we found that the viral screenshot shows a user comment left under a Washington Post article, and not the publication's views.

The screenshot shows a reader's comment under an article published by The Washington Post.

The text in the viral claim is a comment under an article by The Washington Post. 

(Source: The Washington Post/Altered by The Quint)

The Washington Post has extensively covered India's lunar mission. However, this text is not present in any of their articles.

The screenshot shows a reader's comment under an article published by The Washington Post.

The Washington Post has extensively covered Chandrayaan-3.

(Source: The Google/Altered by The Quint)

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Conclusion: Social media users incorrectly shared a reader's comment on a Washington Post article about Chandrayaan-3 as the publication's views on India's lunar mission.

(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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