Sunday, February 28, 2021
Home News Reports Fact check: Is NDTV carrying ‘ads for call girls’ for attracting revenue or traffic?

Fact check: Is NDTV carrying ‘ads for call girls’ for attracting revenue or traffic?

On Monday night, some Twitter users shared a screenshot of a page from NDTV website that seemingly carried a phone number for getting call girls in Gwalior city of India. They wondered if this was an ‘advertisement’ and NDTV was earning through such dubious means given that their business appears in doldrums. NDTV had recently announced that they were laying off 25% of their workforce.

As one can see, when you click the link given in the above tweet, the NDTV page (when seen on mobile devices) indeed carries what is shown in the image. However, on desktop, the result is a little bit different and the above term appears as a title with the body saying “Your search did not match any documents”.

It is basically a search result page, and one can indeed type anything after “ndtv.com/topic/” in a browser and the resultant page will show something similar.

Therefore, can one say that the above tweet was misleading? Is NDTV entirely innocent and not carrying any pages that have advertisements for call girls?

Yes, and No.

While it is indeed not any advertisement or editorial content being carried by the NDTV website, the fact is that NDTV is choosing to get such search results ‘indexed’ by Google . When one searches for the exact phrase (displayed in the image) on Google, only NDTV pages are returned, confirming that the website was choosing to get the search terms indexed.

In simple terms, NDTV has created webpages (automatically created) based on thousands of keywords they believe can give them traffic but are not related to any content on NDTV. These keywords could have been chosen by some algorithm, which did not make exceptions for such obscene or irrelevant keywords.

We tried to check if NDTV has indexed more search results pages based on such obscene or irrelevant keywords, and there indeed were thousands of indexed pages on Google.

So NDTV could be getting some traffic because there are people who are searching for call girls. Whether this was a deliberate decision by the website to attract extra traffic, or an oversight while indexing search terms, is something only NDTV can answer.

We tried to check other news portals if they are indexing similar obscene or irrelevant keywords, and results were mixed (some were as much ‘guilty’ as NDTV, while some desisted from this practice).

To sum it up. NDTV is not carrying any advertisements for call girls, but they are surely tricking – either deliberately or inadvertently – many visitors who are looking for call girls, not any news articles, a plausible violation of Google’s rules for websites. Recently, NDTV had declared that they were number one among news websites in terms of traffic.

Update: NDTV has responded to this issue and they have admitted a tech flaw and oversight, but denied any deliberate attempt to attract traffic through such dubious means. You can read about their response here.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Hindu Mahasabha asks Rahul Gandhi to change Congress’ name to ‘Godsevadi Congress’ after Godse follower joined party: Read why

Hindu Mahasabha has advised Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to change the name of the Congress party to Godsevadi Congress.

As desperate Pakistan welcomes the Indo-Pak ceasefire with much fanfare, India takes it with a caution

The latest ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan comes nearly 17 years after such an agreement was first signed

Encryption vs Compliance: The new IT Act guidelines put messaging services like WhatsApp in a tight situation

To comply with the new IT Act guidelines, services like WhatsApp will have to break its famous end-to-end encryption

Is Yogendra Yadav now an anti-election activist?

“We should have an outcome very soon, we do not have a mandate.” These were the words of Yogendra Yadav after Bihar elections

Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh advances to the second position on the GSDP list ahead of Tamil Nadu, was fifth only a year ago

Amidst economic gloom induced by the pandemic, Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath has recorded impressive GSDP figures

A 2 minute video with 16 cuts: Pakistan releases new doctored video of Wing Commander Abhinandan days after committing to peace at LoC

Pakistan has released a new video of Wing Commander Abhinandan who had fallen into the hands of the Pakistani Army.

Recently Popular

Did Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan elope with her Hindu servant? Here is the truth

The image that is being used to claim that Iran Khan has 'eloped with her Hindu servant' was originally shared by Nupur Shikare, her fitness trainer. The two were posing on the occasion of Diwali.

US President Joe Biden casually drops the N-word during Munich Security Conference, accused of racism on social media

The N-word is considered as one of the hateful words that were first uttered in the 17th century. Its origin can be traced back to the Spanish word 'negro', which is often used by white supremacists to deliberately offend the African-American community.

Father of Richa Bharti, the girl who had refused to distribute Quran to secure bail, shot dead in native Bihar village: Read details

The father of the daring Bihar girl Richa Bharti has been shot down by assailants in her native village of Nalanda district in Bihar.

Father of 6, Mehtab Rana, abducts minor by shrouding her in Burqa, had abducted the girl twice in 2018, role of in-laws, family suspected

Kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl in Agra, where accused made her wear a 'burqa', has sent shockwaves and resulted in outrage

‘His opinion less than objective and reliable, his conduct questionable’, says UK court about justice Markandey Katju in Nirav Modi extradition order

The UK Court rejected Justice Katju's argument that Nirav Modi will not get fair trial in India, and exposed his hypocrisy

“A contest between my ball and your ball”: Netizens in splits after comments of Harsha Bhogle go viral

Harsha Bhohgle said that a cricket contest should be between bat and ball, not between bat and bat or ball and ball
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,126FansLike
520,761FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe