Yesterday, India Today used amazing data mining and analytical skills to prove that Prime Minister Modi’s “popularity has taken a dip”.
No, it did not conduct any internal survey or any opinion poll from their (and AAP’s) pollster Cicero. Instead they used “Facebook Likes” to reach to this conclusion.
They presented the following graph, which shows a clear dip in Modi’s “Likes” on Facebook, which according to India Today, coincided with Land Acquisition Bill and Farmer Suicides:
While we were wondering if this is possible, we got a startling revelation from @bhak_sala that the Land Bill and Farmer Suicides might have affected his likes on Facebook too! Take a look at his graph too:
In both the graphs, there is a visible drop in number of ‘Likes’, which starts exactly around 13th-14th March. Could it be that Farmer’s and pro-farmer lobby unliked BhakSala’s Facebook page too? Or Is India Today building another false narrative?
The answer is right in-front of you. If one looks at the note which appears above BhakSala’s graph, it shows Facebook clearly alerting users that “Pages may see decrease in likes after March 12” because they have “removed inactive accounts“.
In fact, Facebook had released a detailed circular explaining this phenomenon, so that users aren’t alarmed at a sudden fall in likes.
Ironically, India Today in the same article quotes Convenor of BJP’s national communication cell, who gives the exact same reason. But India Today, even though they were informed of this technical glitch, chose to correlate this fall in likes to Land Bill and other issues. This clearly indicates India Today had a narrative ready in mind, and just wanted some sort of “data” to back it, irrespective of how false that claim may be.
Just to be absolutely sure, we asked similar graphs from popular Facebook accounts like FakingNews and TheUnrealTimes. Both the graphs showed the same results, a massive dip in likes in between 13th and 19th March:
In fact, if India Today had bothered to check their own Facebook likes, they would have seen a similar fall at the same time. But alas, Indian MSM doesnt believe in checking, especially India Today.
In March, India Today lied that Sadhvi Prachi had said “Valdimir Putin’s original name is Vaarahmihir Putr Singh” and that Modi’s office is the top rejector of RTI queries. In February, they had misreported Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s comments. And now, they have made up another story.
Considering this shoddy, biased, agenda driven reporting, India Today’s Facebook likes should have plummeted even without Facebook removing inactive accounts.
UPDATE: An alert reader showed us similar “Likes” graphs for India Today and Aaj Tak too. And unsurprisingly, both the accounts had lost “Likes” in the same time frame.