In what appears as another desperate effort to relaunch the Gandhi Scion–Rahul Gandhi for the nth time, India Today’s notorious “Data Intelligence Unit” seems to have colluded with the Congress party to exaggerate the reach of his recent videos lambasting the Central Government vis-à-vis the Line of Actual Control stand-off with China.
Quoting the Congress social media cell, the India Today report claimed that the videos released by the former Congress president on July 17 and July 20 had so far garnered 15 crore views. “Both videos have been watched by four crore people on Twitter, six crores on Facebook, two crores on Youtube, and shared by two crore users on WhatsApp,” the report published by India Today read.
Rahul Gandhi’s first two videos on Twitter have approximately 45 lakh views, not 4 crores
However, a cursory glance at Rahul Gandhi’s Tweets about the videos criticising PM Modi on the India-China border dispute reveals the true extent of its reach. The India Today report stated that Rahul Gandhi’s videos had been watched by over 4 crore people on Twitter. But the count of views on the video shared by him on the microblogging website suggests otherwise. Rahul Gandhi’s first video which was released on July 17 has so far accumulated 2.7 million views which translates to 27 lakh views.
The Wayanad MP’s subsequent video that was released three days later on July 20, 2020, racked up 1.8 million views, that’s equivalent to 18 lakhs.
The combined views of the two videos are just 45 lakhs, which is nowhere close to the inflated claims of “4 crores” by the Congress social media cell and the India Today report. Perhaps, the Data Intelligence unit of India Today misinterpreted 4.5 million as about 4.5 crores.
Six crore people on Facebook watched Rahul Gandhi’s video?
The tale of exaggeration of the reach of Rahul Gandhi’s videos on India-China stand-off on Facebook similar to that on Twitter. The India Today report overstated that the first two videos posted by Rahul Gandhi on his official Facebook account were viewed by over 6 crore people.
However, the first video posted by Rahul Gandhi on Facebook has been viewed by about 358,000 people so far and the second video uploaded on July 20, 2020, has been watched by 2,37,000 people.
The total views of the two videos amount to around 5,95,000 views, which is approximately 5,000 short of the 6-lakh figure. Far from crossing the 6 crore-mark as stated by the India Today report, the videos have struggled to pass the half a million mark.
The reality about the claims made about YouTube views of Rahul Gandhi’s videos
The report goes on to assert that Rahul Gandhi’s popularity is soaring as people are associating themselves with the former Congress president in his critique against the current dispensation for sweeping under the rug the looming border crisis with China. Citing the Congress IT cell, the report contends that Rahul Gandhi’s attack against the government is gaining traction on Internet as 2 crore people have watched his first two videos on YouTube.
But Rahul Gandhi’s YouTube channel spills the truth that the Congress IT cell and India Today tried to hide with their embellishing account of his latest videos. The first video posted by Rahul Gandhi had so far garnered about 81,000 views while the second video, uploaded three days later, could fetch only 41,000 views until now.
When combined, the overall reach of the two videos uploaded on YouTube is close to 1,22,000 but the Congress IT cell inflated it, claiming that 2 crore people have watched his videos on YouTube.
Were Rahul Gandhi’s videos shared by 2 crore people on Whatsapp?
Perhaps, the most outrageous claims made by the Congress IT cell in conjunction with India Today is that the first two videos of Rahul Gandhi were shared by over two crore people on Whatsapp. If one goes by the claims made about the YouTube, Twitter and Facebook views of the videos, it can be easily inferred that the assertions made in the article published on India Today are nothing but whoppers.
In addition to this, it is reasonable to assume that Whatsapp data cannot be accessed by a third party, let alone a political party, to assert that their leader’s reach is steadily expanding. Also, it is unlikely that Whatsapp alone has a staggering 2 crore shares while the videos on other social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook registers below ordinary numbers.
Another launch attempt for Rahul Gandhi?
The India Today article about Rahul Gandhi’s so-called phenomenal popularity also added boastful lines from Congress. Congress Social Media cell head Rohan Gupta was quoted saying, “Rahul Ji is getting this kind of traction in his videos because when one speaks the truth, one connects with masses”.
The fact that the Congress IT cell and India Today extrapolated 4.5 million views to 4 crores on Twitter, 6 lakhs to 6 crores on Facebook and 1,22,000 views to 2 crores on YouTube, demonstrates that in their bid to show the resurgence of Rahul Gandhi, they are even willing to embarrass themselves by getting the basic maths wrong.