Journalist Rana Ayyub took to Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday to call out a fake tweet on late former President Pranab Mukherjee, that is being falsely attributed to her on social media.
The screenshot, which purports to show a tweet by Ayyub, includes a picture of Mukherjee, who passed away on Monday, and has text which claims, "the man who rejected martyr Afzal Guru's petition is dead. Afzal Guru is at peace today."
Mohammed Afzal Guru was convicted for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and later awarded the death sentence and hanged to death in 2013. (Read more about it here)
Rana Ayyub said the screenshot, which was circulating on WhatsApp and Instagram, led to her being harassed online. (View an archive of her post here)
Ayyub also quote tweeted an account that had tweeted the fake image and tagged her.
BOOM found a number of Facebook posts and tweets sharing the same fake screenshot with the false claim that Rana Ayyub had deleted the screenshot after being called out.
BOOM analysed the viral screenshot and found several telltale signs of it being doctored.
We found traces of the image being tampered (circled in red). We also found that the viral screenshot has removed the time stamp that appears next to a tweet to indicate the time it was tweeted.
In addition the screenshots circulating on social media shows the exact number of comments, retweets and Likes. If multiple people had taken a screenshot there would be a difference between the images.
We also searched for any saved archives from Rana Ayyub's Twitter account (view here) but did not find any tweet on Pranab Mukherjee which mentioned Afzal Guru.
On Twitter, even if a user deletes their tweet, the replies by other Twitter users still exist on the platform.
Since the viral screenshot showed 276 comments or replies below the supposed tweet made on August 31, 2020 (the date the former President passed away); we used a string to search for replies to a deleted tweet but found none from the day. (to:RanaAyyub) until:2020-08-31
BOOM also found the original tweet from which the fake tweet was created. A comparison below show how the reactions on the original tweet and viral screenshot are nearly identical.
Former President and Bharat Ratna awardee Pranab Mukherjee passed away on Monday at the age of 84. The veteran politician was admitted to Delhi's Army Research and Referral hospital for a surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain in mid-August. He also tested positive for COVID-19 while being hospitalised. Mukherjee who was deeply comatose over the past few weeks deteriorated on August 31, after a lung infection caused him to go into a septic shock.
Updated On: 2020-09-02T20:46:20+05:30
Claim : Screenshot shows Rana Ayyubs tweet on Pranab Mukerjees death
Claimed By : Twitter users
Fact Check : False