Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal recently shared a news report titled, “ब्रिटेन के आम चुनावों में दिख रही है “केजरीवाल मॉडल” की झलक” (Translation: “A glimpse of the “Kejriwal Model” can be seen in the UK general elections”). The report, published by an outlet called news24india.org, consists of exactly three lines comparing UK’s prime ministerial candidate Rishi Sunak’s promise to provide more money to help people cope with the UK energy crisis, to Kejriwal’s promise of free electricity in the 2020 Delhi elections and the assembly elections in Punjab in the recent past.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 11, 2022
The official handle of Aam Admi Party Delhi shared it on Twitter.
ब्रिटेन के आम चुनावों में दिख रही है “केजरीवाल मॉडल” की छाप।
Kejriwal Model देश तक सीमित नहीं रहा, अब वो दुनिया भर में तेज़ी से फैल रहा है।
अब विकसित राष्ट्र भी “Kejriwal सरकार” से सीख कर आगे बढ़ना चाहते हैं।
— Aam Aadmi Party Delhi (@AAPDelhi) August 11, 2022
Pro-BJP propaganda account @PoliticalKida shared an infographic that linked the News 24 India Facebook page to AAP worker Dimpal Singh, implying that News 24 India was an AAP propaganda website. This tweet garnered almost two thousand likes. Several other users also dubbed the News 24 India outlet as inauthentic (1, 2, 3, 4), owing to its links to the Aam Aadmi Party.
Understand the chronology of fake news shared by Kejriwal. pic.twitter.com/ndvQQrUHyh
— Political Kida (@PoliticalKida) August 12, 2022
Analyzing the article
The three-lined News 24 India article opines that Rishi Sunak is following the “Kejriwal Model” after Sunak promised to give more money to help the people of the United Kingdom deal with rising electricity bills if he becomes the Prime Minister. The “Kejriwal Model” reportedly entails Kejriwal’s promise of free electricity which has helped him win several elections, including the recent Punjab assembly elections.
This article, like many other News 24 India articles, lacks a proper byline. The author of this so-called opinion piece has only made claims without any substantiation whatsoever. Several major media outlets including Aaj Tak and Zee News have published opinion pieces comparing Sunak’s move to Kejriwal’s campaign strategy. But as the reader might notice, all of them are well-drafted pieces with proper corroboration and noticeably more than three lines. In fact, the title of the News 24 India article seems to be more articulate than the actual article. It is thus safe to say that the News 24 India piece shared by Kejriwal can hardly qualify as journalism. It is surprising that the Chief Minister of Delhi would share such an inarticulate report.
Moreover, the News 24 India report has used the terms “आम चुनावों” or “General Elections” in its title. According to a Business Standard article, the current race for the UK Prime Minister is “not a general election but an election within the Conservative Party”. The Conservative Party still holds a majority in the parliament, hence a general election is not necessary. It may or may not be held, depending upon the choice of the new Prime Minister.
Alt News further analyzed news24india.org to check the authenticity of the news website.
A look at news24india.org
The ‘About’ section of News 24 India is indistinct. It consists of a vaguely written paragraph, bereft of the names of the editors or sources of funding, and an email ID. It only states that News 24 India is an independent news portal giving us the latest news on entertainment, politics, sports, and health. Clearly, a lack of transparency is existent between News 24 India and its readers.
News 24 India primarily covers local news from Uttarakhand. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, none of the articles contains a name in their respective bylines. All reports are attributed under “By Admin”. There is no information regarding the identity of the admin. It must also be noted that the articles published by News 24 India usually contain three to six lines.
The Twitter and Facebook accounts that are linked to the website of News 24 India have been deactivated. However, Alt News found the archives of the linked Twitter account on Wayback Machine and, on visiting the URL of one of the Tweets (https://twitter.com/News_24India/status/1547968410805731329) that were archived, we were redirected to the account @AAP_USNagar. Similarly, all the archived links led to this Twitter handle. The page is named “Aam Aadmi Party Udham Singh Nagar” and the bio of the page reads “Official Twitter Handle Of @AAPUttarakhand District Udham Singh Nagar”. All the tweets by @AAP_USNagar are News 24 India reports.
We also matched the unique Twitter IDs of the two pages. Both accounts have the same Twitter ID. Hence is it apparent that the News 24 India Twitter page changed it’s Twitter handle from @News_24India to @AAP_USNagar.
Upon a Facebook search, Alt News found an obscure page with News 24 India’s name and logo. The page was created on August 12 and had only 7 likes. Upon Google reverse image search of the logo, we found another page with the same name that had been deactivated. However, we found the cached version of that page. Here, under the ‘Related Pages’ section, politician Dimpal Singh’s profile can be seen. According to Dimpal Singh‘s Facebook page, she is the State Vice President of AAP Uttarakhand.
Apart from this, we also found three other obscure Twitter pages with the same name and the same logo. All the pages had minimal interactions and followers (1, 2, and 3). All the pages have news24india.org linked to their respective Twitter pages. These pages have all been created arbitrarily over a span of six months.
Alt News also noticed that in spite of News 24 India being obscure, several Aam Aadmi Party workers have shared its news reports in the past.
Hence, the report that Arvind Kejriwal shared, to suggest that Rishi Sunak’s strategy to provide more money to help people cope with the UK energy crisis matches Kejriwal’s promise of free electricity, was published by a dubious news website with links to Aam Aadmi Party members and units.
The News 24 India website has a vaguely written ‘about’ section with no information about the editorial team or the funding process. None of the articles carries a byline. The Facebook and Twitter pages that are now deactivated can be linked to various AAP workers. Moreover, several obscure social media pages of News 24 India can be found online. These pages have minimal interaction. The authenticity of News 24 India cannot be verified.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people contribute towards the same. Please consider donating in support of this endeavour to fight misinformation and disinformation.
To make an instant donation, click on the “Donate Now” button above. For information regarding donation via Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD, click here.