IANS falls for parody account of Raghuram Rajan, several media outlets follow suit

On September 13, a few media outlets published a story titled – “It’s a sign that you’re hiding real data: Rajan on Goyal faux pas”. The story was on former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan’s alleged response to the recent gaffe made by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal where he attributed the discovery of gravity to Albert Einstein instead of Isaac Newton.

IANS ran the original story and the syndicated feed was published by ABP News, The Quint, The Economic Times, Outlook and Caravan Daily. The Economic Times has now taken down the story.

According to the report, Rajan tweeted, “When you don’t understand the #GRAVITY of the economic slowdown, the words stumble and reasoning becomes feeble. If someone thinks that maths doesn’t help understanding gravity and economics, then it’s a sign that you are hiding the actual statistical data. Newton must be smiling,” 

Media quotes a parody account

The tweet attributed to Rajan was posted by a parody account dedicated to the Indian economist. The handle itself reveals this information in its bio.

Raghuram Rajan is not on Twitter.

This isn’t an isolated case when IANS and subsequently other media outlets believed a parody account to be genuine. Led by IANS, several media outlets published reports based on tweets from a parody account of Tripura CM Biplab Deb last year. Furthermore, The Economic Times had earlier published a tweet by a parody account of Warren Buffet, despite the American businessman operating an official Twitter account.

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