The Indian government mopped up a record over rupees 1.5 lakh crore from India’s first auction of 5G spectrum which ended after 40 rounds over seven straight days, with Reliance Jio, which is an Indian telecommunication company, emerging as the largest bidder. An article published in Time Business went viral on social media claiming the 5G auction in India suffered a record loss of 2.8 Lakh crore rupees. It further claimed that the 5G spectrum is a scam and nobody is talking about it since they are all corrupted by influential people. The tweet was shared by a politician, affiliated with Indian National Congress.
(Screenshot from Twitter post)
5G स्कैम पर पूरे देश की मीडिया चुप …— Pankhuri Pathak पंखुड़ी पाठक پنکھڑی (@pankhuripathak) August 3, 2022
कोई डिबेट, कोई शोर, कोई चर्चा नहीं!
क्योंकि कई सारे 000 इनके मुंह में ठूंस कर इन्हें चुप करा रखा है ! pic.twitter.com/BIXQBXlzE0
In order to verify the claim, we searched for keywords “Times Business India” on google search engine which led us to “Times of India” website. We looked out for business page in E-paper and found a news in Chennai edition published on 2nd August, 2022. The original headline reads, “5G spectrum auctions earn Centre record ₹1.5 lakh crore”
(Screenshot from Times Business website)
False Context/ Misleading
Our fact-check confirmed that the shared article of “Times of India” newspaper is altered & falsely claims a record loss in 5G spectrum auction.
ABCDE Framework-Based Analysis
|Actor||Indian National Congress member and its vice chairperson for social media Uttar Pradesh is involved in spreading misinformation on social media.|
|Behavior||An edited article from ‘Times Business’ is circulated on social media.|
|Content||Social Media posts.|
|Degree||The content is being spread to defame the 5G rollout plan of the ruling party of India; Bharatiya Janata Party. The headline of the article was edited to change the whole context of the story. However, no synthetic means are being used to make the content viral. It was initially shared from a verified Twitter account with a huge following.|
|Effect||The manipulated article is being circulated to mislead the audience and portray that BJP projects are causing India a huge loss. |