A screengrab of an alleged report published in The New York Times (NYT) is in circulation on social media. Its headline reads, “Aam Aadmi Party sets world record of gathering highest number of people in a political rally.” The deck below the headline reads, “Nearly 25 crores people attended Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Gujarat after his Landslide win in Punjab Election.[sic]” It is noteworthy that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann reached Ahmedabad on April 1 for a two-day visit.

RSS worker Rajgopal shared this screenshot pointing out that Gujarat has a population of “6.5 crores” thus, how could it be possible for “25 crore” people to attend the AAP’s political rally.

Various other Twitter users also shared this screenshot while making the identical observation.

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This claim is also widely viral on Facebook.

Morphed

We checked dozens of these tweets and Facebook posts and noticed that none of these users has provided links to this news report. Moreover, it seems the same screenshot has been shared by everyone. The article could not be found on the NYT’s website. This was the first red flag.

We then checked for discrepancies. The home page of the NYT currently has live tickers for only three political events — ‘Russia-Ukraine War’, ‘Coronavirus Pandemic’ and ‘Pakistan Political Turmoil’. There is no live ticker for India-related news.

After comparing one of the live pages with the viral screenshot, we noticed a few more anomalies:

1. The “Live”, “Subscribe” and “Log in” buttons of the genuine NYT live feed does not match with the ones seen in the viral screenshot.

2. The colour of the font below the headline i.e., the font colour of the news decks does not match.

3. The news deck in the viral screenshot also carries grammatical errors – the letter ‘l’ in ‘landslide’ is capitalised in between the sentence and it says 25 “crores” people instead of “crore”.

4. The same observations could be made on all the live pages.

Based on all the observations it is safe to conclude that the viral screenshot is morphed. Moreover, The New York Times PR dismissed the claims of publishing any such news reports.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc