Firstpost publishes misleading headline using 2 year old sexual harassment data from UP

Look at this headline in this Sept 26, 2017 article published by Firstpost (in collaboration with IndiaSpend) and tell me what you think has happened:

A 33% rise in sexual harassment cases in Uttar Pradesh in the “past year”? And the data comes “as BHU students’ protest grabs national attention.”

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This data could not have come at a worse time for the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. What a shame! Surely Yogi Adityanath’s government should take the blame for this.

Go ahead and admit it : it’s Yogi Adityanath’s fault.

What the headline from Firstpost doesn’t tell you however is that Yogi Adityanath’s only fault here is not owning a time machine. You know, so that he could go back into the past and stop the crimes that happened under Akhilesh Yadav’s secular government in Uttar Pradesh.

Here’s the rest of the article : you know, the part that appears in half the size of the headline.

Wonderful! The data for the “past year” is actually almost two years old, coming from 2014 and 2015.

It is not hard to imagine what purpose such a headline is designed for. A quick scroll through a Twitter or Facebook feed on a mobile phone and the headline is all that catches your eye. Perhaps before you move on to see how your friends are celebrating Navratri. There, in that brief second when you couldn’t be bothered to click on an article and read the fine print, your mind would have registered fake information.

And I am fairly sure  Firstpost & IndiaSpend are smart enough to know that.

Just look at this tweet from IndiaSpend:

Or see the banner headline on the IndiaSpend homepage:

The agenda is obvious, is it not?

This is why the left liberal ecosystem places such extreme emphasis on the flow of information. For example, everyone has heard by now about the shocking case of children dying in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College. What you probably haven’t heard is this :

That’s right. The number of child deaths at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College has dropped drastically this year. From an average of 4095 deaths in the Jan-Aug period to 1285 deaths, a decrease of nearly 70%.

That’s the data journalism we never got to see. Because we all understand the agendas involved. Incidentally, “data journalism” is what IndiaSpend claims to do.

But wait, maybe India Spend can do some “data journalism” on deaths of children in Gorakhpur after all. Notice how the number of deaths in BRD Medical College rose from 3828 in 2014 to 4601 in 2015?

20% rise in child deaths at Gorakhpur BRD hospital in past year” : Now that is a headline just waiting to happen as far as Firstpost and Indiaspend are concerned. What do you think?

Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.

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