Congress party uses fake news t claim Rahul Gandhi more popular than PM Modi

Congress party uses fake news t claim Rahul Gandhi more popular than PM Modi

The Congress party often relies on ‘moral victory’ after losing elections, now they have started claiming ‘social media victory’. On 13th August, the official Twitter handle of the party posted some numbers claiming that the viewership of Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Lok Sabha during the non-confidence motion was much more than the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

They give numbers for 4 different platforms, Sansad TV, YouTube, X (Twitter) and Facebook. Congress claims that the views of Rahul Gandhi’s speech on the four platforms were 3.5 lakh, 26 lakh, 23 thousand and 73 lakh, while the corresponding numbers for Narendra Modi’s speech are 2.3 lakh, 6.65 lakh, 22 thousand and 11 thousand.

However, these numbers are completely fake, and some of the numbers do not even make any sense. They have mentioned Sansad TV and YouTube separately, but the fact is that Sansad TV uses YouTube only to live stream the proceedings. The website of Sansad TV just embeds YouTube videos from their channel, including live streams.

On Sansad TV’s YouTube channel, Rahul Gandhi’s speech has 3.55 lakh views, while the speech of PM Narendra Modi has 2.66 lakh views. It is notable that Rahul Gandhi addressed the Lok Sabha on 9th August, while the PM’s speech was on 10th evening before the no-confidence motion was defeated by voice vote. As Rahul Gandhi’s speech on YouTube for a longer time, it is natural to have more views.

The videos of speeches are on the respective YouTube channels of both politicians also, and the numbers don’t match the numbers mentioned by Congress. On Rahul Gandhi’s YouTube page, the live-streamed video of his speech has 6.7 lakh views, while the live-streamed video of Narendra Modi’s speech on the PM’s page has over 18 lakh views.

Live stream of Rahul Gandhi’s speech on his YouTube channel

Therefore, comparing the views of the live streams of their speeches on their respective YouTube channels, the views of Narendra Modi’s speech is much more, almost three times the views of Rahul Gandhi’s speech. The Congress party is making a completely fake claim here.

It is notable that apart from the live stream, Rahul Gandhi’s YouTube channel later uploaded the video separately, and it has 21 lakh views. The video was uploaded after making some edits, and it did get much more viewership than the live stream, perhaps because it was heavily promoted. But the fact is, this can’t be compared with views of PM Narendra Modi’s speech on his channel, as that is a live stream, and the PM’s channel has not uploaded the video separately as Rahul Gandhi has done. Comparing the live streams of both, the PM’s speech has more views.

Congress claimed 23,000 views for Rahul Gandhi and 22,000 views for Narendra Modi on Twitter but does not mention from which account these numbers have been taken. If we assume that the numbers are from the Twitter accounts of Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, the claimed numbers do not match at all. The tweet by Rahul Gandhi containing the live stream of his speech has 14 lakh views, along with 13.5 lakh reposts (retweets), 511 quotes, 37.7 lakh likes and 201 bookmarks.

Comparison of Twitter live streams

For the speech of Narendra Modi posted on the X (Twitter) account of the PM, it has 25 lakh views, 16.3 reposts, 853 quotes, 51.7 likes and 363 bookmarks. Clearly, the numbers for Narendra Modi’s speech are more than Rahul Gandhi’s speech on Twitter, even though the PM’s speech was a day after Rahul Gandhi’s speech. The Congress party is using fake numbers to claim more popularity for Rahul Gandhi’s speech on the platform.

For Facebook, the Congress party claimed that Rahul Gandhi’s speech has 73 lakh views, while the views of Narendra Modi’s speech is only 11,000. This is another blatantly false claim because the views of Narendra Modi’s speech on his official Facebook page is 64 lakh. On the other hand, the views for Rahul Gandhi’s speech on his Facebook page is around 80 lakh.

Comparison of Facebook live streams

Congress party’s number for Rahul Gandhi is less probably because they took the number earlier and the video got more views after that. However, the claim that views for Narendra Modi’s speech is 11 thousand on Facebook is completely fake.

It is clear that the Congress party has used false numbers for views of PM Modi’s speech on Twitter and Facebook, as the actual numbers are much more than what they have claimed. They also compared wrong channels to arrive a conclusion for YouTube.

Views vs popularity

By using fake numbers, the Congress party is trying to imply that Rahul Gandhi is more popular than PM Mobi among viewers of online streams. But the fact is, speeches on important occasions like no confidence motion are watched by a large number of people, and it is in no way a reflection of popularity. As Indians including the youths become more politically aware, they have started to watch parliamentary proceedings on TV and the Internet.

The fact that a large number of people watched Rahul Gandhi’s speech does not mean he is more popular. It is also notable that a large section of BJP supporters and right-wing social media users keenly follow Rahul Gandhi’s speeches. They do it to counter or fact-check his claims and allegations, or even to catch his numerous bloopers so that they can mock him.

It was also Rahul Gandhi’s first speech after his reinstatement in the Lok Sabha, therefore his speech had a higher curiosity factor. On the other hand, the left wing believes in living in echo chambers, and it is highly likely that most of them didn’t watch the PM’s speech.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media reach is much more than Rahul Gandhi’s, which has much more followers on various social media platforms.

Even if Rahul Gandhi’s speech in parliament has more views online than PM Modi’s speech, the fact remains that the Congress party’s no-confidence motion was defeated. The opposition MPs had walked out during the PM’s speech, as they knew that putting the motion to vote will mean an embarrassment for the newly named I.N.D.I.A. alliance, and chose to abandon the motion instead. As a result, the motion was defeated by voice vote, and no actual voting was needed to determine its fate.

But as always, the Congress party is seeing victory in defeat. If not moral victory, social media victory this time, even by using false numbers.

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