Monday, October 19, 2020
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Destined to fail: BBC’s ‘Fake News’ research relied on sources with a political bias and one with a Congress connection

The BBC has been forced to apologize to the founder of The Better India for accusing the outlet of spreading Fake News. Since then, the BBC has been busy removing the research from its website, uploading it, then removing it again.

We have published a series of articles on the BBC’s shoddy research where we have demonstrated that the researchers adopted inappropriate research methods to reach fantastical conclusions in the BBC fake news research paper.

Among other things, BBC’s research relied on Leftist propaganda website AltNews and FactChecker, an arm of IndiaSpend, which has itself been maintaining a fabricated database to portray Hindus as aggressors and Muslims as victims.

There are other discoveries that we have made that could reveal clear bias in part of the researchers.

Praveen Chakravarty, Congress and Indiaspend

For instance, Praveen Chakravarty, the head of Congress party’s data analytics department, is a founding trustee at IndiaSpend. The website of IndiaSpend, however, does not mention him as one.

Praveen Chakravarty got appointed as the head of Congress party’s data analytics department in February 2018, way before the BBC research started. Also, it is a wonder why the Indiaspend website makes no mention of Praveen Chakravarty.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Founder of Indiaspend and Boom Live

The BBC research had as its source, apart from AltNews and IndiaSpend, Boom Live and SMhoaxslayer. Now, IndiaSpend and Boom Live have a common link. They have the same founder, Govindraj Ethiraj. And Ethiraj once stated, “Most of the fake news is originating from people aligned with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). People aligned with the Congress have not propagated fake news with the same frequency yet.”

The BBC research relied on two sources founded by the same person who had already reached a conclusion on who spreads more Fake News. Thus, the source BBC relied on was clearly biased from the very beginning, and their research was fated to be biased as well.

The Bias of AltNews

As for AltNews, their accomplishments have been documented comprehensively by OpIndia.com. On a particular occasion, the portal declared a journalist’s account of the ‘attack; on Umar Khalid ‘false’ without any evidence merely because it went against their narrative.

The co-founder of AltNews himself spread Fake News about OpIndia.com, wonder why that missed the BBC’s eye? The co-founder has now become notorious for spreading fake news on several occasions. We have demonstrated in an earlier report that AltNews is not a neutral platform.

What it tells us

Thus, we have at least 3 of the 4 sources relied on BBC who displayed clear political bias. One of them has links with the Congress party, another’s co-founder spread lies against OpIndia.com. Two of them share the same co-founder who had already reached the conclusions months ago that Fake News is mostly spread by BJP supporters. Under such circumstances, how on Earth did the BBC expect to reach unbiased conclusions? Or, perhaps they were chosen specifically to reach a preordained conclusion.

The BBC has been forced to apologize to the founder of The Better India for accusing the outlet of spreading Fake News. Since then, the BBC has been busy removing the research from its website, uploading it, then removing it again.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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