DD News tweets dubious recognition by obscure website to PM Modi, trolled

An obscure website conducted a poll among its readers to declare that Narendra Modi is the ‘most powerful person’ in the world pipping the US, Chinese and Russian Presidents

DD News tweets  dubious recognition by obscure website to PM Modi, trolled

NH Web Desk

A “survey” by a UK-based website/magazine last week declared Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “world’s most powerful person”. Soon after, BJP ministers and the Indian media erupted into rapturous reporting, congratulating the Prime Minister and hailing the recognition.

On Sunday, national broadcaster Doordarshan News (DD News) also tweeted a video of PM Modi with a message: "Leaving Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping behind, PM Narendra Modi becomes the world's most powerful person."

The channel was trolled thereafter with people slamming the survey calling it "fake" and also sharing funny memes.

The DD News was the last to join the bandwagon of news channels which went gaga as soon as the "survey" reached them.

Notably, no reputed international publication carried the news of Modi having been polled as the world’s most powerful person while the Indian media went gaga over the survey.

Amid a frenzy of tweets and re-tweets by the BJP-wallahs and the media houses, nobody bothered to check as to what is British Herald and what is its credibility, or what was the sample size or the methodology of the so-called survey.

An analysis by Alt News, a platform that is known for digging into the origins of social media and web content, revealed that the website www.britishherald.com is owned by Herald Media Network Limited, a company registered in the UK.

The company was incorporated in April 2018 by an Indian national, Ansif Ashraf, who holds 85 per cent of its shares.

The website describes itself as “among the world’s leaders in online news and information delivery” and carries a variety of news stories from across the world.

According to Alt News, the British Herald has a global Alexa web traffic rank of 28,518. For the uninitiated, the lower the Alexa ranking, the higher the popularity. For reference, NDTV has an Alexa ranking of 395 while indiatimes.com has a global Alexa ranking of 190.

The above figures make it amply clear that in terms of web traffic, British Herald is miles down the ladder. Its Twitter account has just around 4,000 followers while its Facebook page has around 57,000 followers.

Again, the real leading British media houses such as BBC and The Guardian have millions of followers on each social media platform.

More startingly, the Alt News discovered that the British Herald Twitter handle had on May 23 carried an image of PM Modi with the survey result – around a month before the voting ended.

So much for the survey and its credibility.

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Published: 24 Jun 2019, 8:02 PM