After whining about Rahul Gandhi’s video being ‘algorithmically suppressed’, Congress celebrates his mythical YouTube success: What the real numbers say

After whining about Rahul Gandhi's video being 'algorithmically suppressed', Congress celebrates his mythical YouTube success: What the real numbers say


The Congress seems to have thought of a brand new strategy to re-launch Rahul Gandhi for the millionth time. The Hindu published an article hailing the social media connect of Rahul Gandhi and talking about how his YouTube channel has zoomed ahead. The Leftist publication, which had helped Rahul Gandhi further his Rafale lies with fabricated documents, also quoted an ‘internal assessment’, claiming that while Rahul Gandhi’s YouTube channel is not as popular as that of Prime Minister Modi, it still outshines the latter in per video average views.

“There is still a long way for Mr. Gandhi to outstrip Prime Minister Narendra Modi who globally has one of the largest social media presence (his YouTube channel has over 16 million subscribers), the Congress claims that Mr. Gandhi lately has better statistics in terms of audience engagement. As per the Congress’s internal assessment, Mr. Gandhi’s videos on an average get 3,43,000 views, while the average views on Mr. Modi’s channel is 56,000. Mr. Gandhi’s videos get on average 1,700 comments and Mr. Modi’s videos get 137 comments“, the report claimed.

The report also tried to repackage the image of Rahul Gandhi to mirror that of PM Modi in his pre-2014 phase where Narendra Modi was perhaps the first world leader to use social media extensively and as a tool to reach out to his electorate. With the media being heavily biased against him, social media became the medium of choice for Modi.

The Hindu report tries to recast Rahul Gandhi in that mould by claiming that Rahul Gandhi has often criticised the mainstream media’s bias against him and thus, used social media effectively. “When most mainstream communication mediums are controlled by the BJP, there was no other option but for us to get our message to people through alternative platforms like YouTube. We realise these platforms cannot be a perfect substitute for mainstream mediums but this was the only alternative,” The Hindu quoted Praveen Chakravarty, who heads Congress’ Data Analytics Department. 

While the Congress is celebrating Rahul Gandhi’s mythical YouTube popularity, it becomes imperative to note a few points. Firstly, Congress is using the metric ‘average views per video’ to compare Rahul Gandhi’s success to that of PM Modi. The Hindu says, “As per the Congress’s internal assessment, Mr. Gandhi’s videos on average get 3,43,000 views, while the average number of views on PM Modi’s channel is 56,000. Gandhi’s videos get on average 1,700 comments and Mr. Modi’s videos get 137 comments”. However, the per-video engagement is no metric at all, given that averaging out would depend on how many videos a channel uploads.

The metric that The Hindu fails to mention is that PM Modi’s YouTube gained approximately 25.46 Crore views in the last 1 month while Rahul Gandhi’s YouTube gained approximately 4.82 Crore views in the last 1 month. Also, PM Modi’s YouTube gained approximately 75.79 crore views this year while Rahul Gandhi’s YouTube gained approximately 25.38 Crore views this year.

What is also interesting is that this celebration of Rahul Gandhi’s mythical YouTube success comes only 4 months after The Hindu ran another Congress handout where Congress whined about Rahul Gandhi’s video ranting against Gautam Adani after the Hindenberg fiasco had been ‘algorithmically suppressed by YouTube”.

In March 2023, Congress had alleged in a letter to YouTube that former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s videos on industrialist Gautam Adani have fewer views despite similar user engagement as other videos. The party has further alleged that the browse feature for these specific videos seems to have been “algorithmically suppressed”. 

Essentially, Congress had insinuated that somehow, YouTube was also doing PM Modi’s bidding. If that were true then, one has to wonder what changed in the past 4 months for YouTube to suddenly like Rahul Gandhi again. What is more likely, however, is that Congress was exaggerating and crying victim then and is celebrating a mythical success today, because according to political requirements, they need one of these two narratives to keep getting played up in the media.



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