After the results of the Uttar Pradesh elections were declared, a screenshot of a YouTube channel went viral on WhatsApp with the claim that the Election Commission has accepted that there has been tampering with the EVMs and has ordered for re-elections in 142 seats.
Alt News has received requests on its official WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160) to verify the claim.
It is also massively viral on Facebook.
We had a close look at the video and noticed the name of the channel. Taking that as a clue, we performed a keyword search on YouTube and came across the original video posted by Nation Tv.
The video features a phone conversation between two individuals during which it is alleged that EVMs were tampered with. It is also alleged that the official on duty tried to raise the issue but the SHO asked him to not.
We played the entire video and noticed that at no point the news anchor featured in the viral thumbnail appears in the original video. In fact, the entire video has a voiceover by a woman. Furthermore, the description has hashtags that are irrelevant to the content of the video.
We also checked the video section of the YouTube channel and noticed that it has the same thumbnail for all its videos and has published the same news of re-elections but with different numbers in the past two days. Some video thumbnails also feature photos of journalist Ravish Kumar but the content of the video have nothing to do with him.
Nation Tv has another channel linked to its YouTube channel that has multiple videos with the same thumbnail design but with Ravish Kumar in it.
We also ran the image of the news anchor through Yandex reverse image search, which identified the man as Sandeep Chaudhry of News24.
We checked for news about re-elections in 142 seats and came across a fact-check by PIB which debunked the claim.
▶️ईवीएम बदले जाने का दावा फर्जी है
▶️ @ECISVEEP द्वारा 142 सीटों पर फिर से मतदान कराने की घोषणा नहीं की गई है
▶️ कृपया ऐसे भ्रामक विडियो शेयर न करें pic.twitter.com/WZ4q1vUFb5
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) March 14, 2022
Based on all the evidence, it is safe to conclude that none of the anchors seen in the thumbnails of the videos is actually associated with Nation Tv. Their images are being used to generate clicks for views and to present the channel as an authentic source.
More importantly, the “news” had not been reported by any credible media outlet.
Hence, a YouTube channel used the photos of established news anchors to spread the misinformation of re-elections in UP.
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