Months before Gujarat goes to the polls, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann recently held a roadshow called the “Tiranga Yatra” in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. After a massive victory in the Punjab assembly polls, Mann said the party was now “preparing for Gujarat.”
Following this, a screenshot of a news report by the New York Times about the AAP roadshow in Gujarat went viral on social media. The headline of this report read, “Aam Aadmi Party sets world record of gathering highest number of people in a political rally.”
The report’s summary under the headline claimed nearly 25 crore people attended the AAP rally. One such tweet can be seen below.
Many on social media criticised the Times for the alleged inaccuracies in this report, with many asking how the rally’s attendants could be almost four times the state’s population?
The India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) found the claim along with the image was misleading. The screenshot was doctored. There are no NYT reports on AAP’s “Tiranga Yatra”.
A reverse search showed that the image of the mass gathering used in the alleged report was from the “Tiranga Yatra”. The official Twitter handle of the AAP had tweeted the same photo on April 2.
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) April 2, 2022
The dateline on the screenshot showed that the report was published on April 2, 2022. Despite multiple searches on Google, we were unable to find such a report online. We then visited the NYT website and looked for the story under the ‘Asia’ subsection in the ‘World’ category. But there were no reports from India on April 2 there.
While Google led us to a dedicated section on India on the website, the lone piece in the section from April 2 was a guest essay that was completely unrelated to electoral politics.
We also noticed that the fonts used by the NYT in headlines and summaries were different from those used in the viral screenshot. The headlines and summaries for all Live reports found on the website were uniform but different from those used in the screenshot.
The NYT website uses another font for the headlines of regular non-Live news reports. When checked and confirmed that this font was also different from that in the screenshot.
We also noticed that the website ran a horizontal widget above all articles as a shortcut to the Russia-Ukraine war updates. This bar was absent in the screenshot.
Using the search bar, we also confirmed that no news report was published recently by the NYT with “Aam Aadmi Party” in the headline. The most recent was published on March 10, the website directory showed.
We decided to contact the Times for further clarity. Over an email, Danielle Rhoades Ha, the Vice President of Communications at the New York Times Company told AFWA that the screenshot was fake.
“The screenshot below, which is circulating on social media, is a mocked-up image. The New York Times did not write or publish this story,” Ha told us over email. The same statement was also tweeted by the NYTimes Communications official account.
The screenshot in that tweet is a mocked up image. The New York Times did not write or publish that story. Our coverage can be found at
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) April 3, 2022
Hence, it is clear that a doctored screenshot was shared as a news report about AAP’s rally in Gujarat published by the New York Times.
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published 2022-04-08 18:07:08