Biased and flawed self-proclaimed fact-checker from the dubious ‘data journalism’ website IndiaSpend, factchecker.in is at it again. Journalist Swati Goel Sharma, who seems to have taken upon herself to expose the biased reportage and factual inaccuracies of IndiaSpend, took to Twitter to call out their bias.
A fact-check of @FactCheckIndia‘s fact-check. Can they explain this?
1. This is the original TOI report, based on which a hate crime is recorded in its database
As per report, Sumit Kumar is assaulted by a group of Muslim men and Abid is assaulted by unidentified “masked men” pic.twitter.com/YKLCs7AWoD
— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) January 30, 2019
Swati is talking about an incident that took place in August 2018. IndiaSpend’s ‘hate crime tracker’ had included this incident as a hate crime under ‘communal clashes’.
The first link used as a source for the above ‘hate-crime’ is a Times of India one. Times of India report mentions names of both the victims. It mentions how Sumit had filed the FIR. Despite that, the religion of other victim is kept ‘unknown’.
The same Times of India report also mentions how Abid was prompted by his own employer Shamsher to play victim for a counter an FIR which originated over a dispute over a cricket match.
This is only the Times of India report. IndiaSpend’s Factchecker then did a ground report on the same. In its ground report, Factchecker.in has mentioned that the fight was between boys of all the faiths.
Factchecker.in’s ground report further states how Sumit was allegedly attacked by some Muslim men.
In the same report, Factchecker.in mentions that the Police has confirmed with Factchecker that Abid had cooked up the story on an attack on him.
To summarize, an incident takes place in Meerut where a bunch of Muslim men attack a boy over a game of cricket. FIR is filed. To settle scores on this FIR, a fake story is created by Abid, a Muslim man, claiming that he was thrashed. Police investigates and concludes that no attack took place on Abid and he had acted on his employer’s instruction. This part is included in Times of India report as well, which factchecker.in had taken as base report for their ‘hate-crime tracker’.
So, while the base report says the Police concluded there was no attack on Abid, their own ground report also mentions Police confirming that there was no attack on Abid, factchecker.in continues to keep the above incident in ‘hate crime’. It has been over a week since their own ground report, the incident is not removed from their database.
One wonders why.