After being exposed, Scroll changes headline & body of article on UP’s Kabab shop

Yesterday, we had exposed how Scroll, the leftist propaganda blog had helped in spreading a rumour that led people to believe that a popular Kabab shop in Lucknow – Tunday Kababi – had gone out of business because the new Uttar Pradesh government was ‘cracking down on meat’.

The truth was that the shop was closed temporarily on Wednesday due to shortage of meat supply, and that shortage happened not due to any ‘crackdown on meat’ but due to crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses by the state government.

In fact, this chicanery of crafting a misleading headline was exposed by a closer look at that article itself:

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Now it appears that since our exposé, Scroll has surreptitiously modified their entire article along with the headline, which means that they too now concede that their headline was dishonest and an enabler in spreading the lie about the shop shutting down for good.

Luckily, we have screenshots to show how the same story has been changed. Look at how the Scroll first spread a rumour and then quietly changed the article to appear “factual”:

From the above comparison, where we have put the original post side-by-side with the edited post, one can clearly see the mischief. The story which originally said a shop had ‘downed its shutters’ now has taken a complete u-turn and claims that the same store has “re-opened”.

There was no mention of “illegal” slaughterhouses in the summary below the headline earlier, which has now been changed to a quote by a representative of the Kabab shop.

It is to be noted that the URL for both the stories remains the same, which reflects the old story’s title:

The tag of being “updated” clearly reveals that the story has indeed been modified (just in case you wondered they were two different reports). Only, that in this case, the story has been turned on its head.

Further down the comparison, we see the nuance playing out, which was so evidently missing in the original story:

So the Tunday Kababi at Akbari gate in Lucknow, had shut shop temporarily on Wednesday, after its supply of beef (buffalo meat) had halted probably because its suppliers were illegal slaughterhouses, because even the Scroll article notes that illegal slaughterhouses are being closed down. Meanwhile, another outlet, which runs by the same name at Aminabad in Lucknow, had remained open on both the days, and this fact was brought out only in the revised article.

Leaving aside the technicalities, it is amusing to see how the same story can be presented in 2 completely different fashions by the same “news” site. Also, it shows that how the headline – the most important part of the story in an era where people prefer all news in 140 characters – can become a vehicle to spread lies, even if the main body of the article (unwillingly) tries to present some “facts”.

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