Did Left party supporters troll former Australian cricketer Tom Moody in large numbers after they mistook him for international rating agency Moody’s Investors Service?
The replies on Moody’s October 4 Facebook post thanking his friends for wishing him on his birthday went viral after several publications reported that Left wing supporters from Kerala trolled Moody for upgrading India’s sovereign rating by a notch – a feat India has managed after 14 years.
However, BOOM’s analysis of the first 125 comments that were posted on Tom Moody’s post from Friday, 17th November show a different picture. Contrary to popular perception and the viral nature of the post that resulted in several news reports, the actual number of comments targeting Moody were very low.
Screenshot of comments that trolled Tom Moody.
( Note: Most of the above comments are abusive. They have attacked Tom Moody for giving ‘Narendra Modi’ and India a good rating.
Note: Govind Madhav’s comment suggests he is a Communist. But a Twitter handle @Advaidism tweeted screenshots of Madhav’s Facebook page where he is seen supporting BJP’s youth wing ABVP. Scroll below for the tweet).
Out of the first 70 comments, only 5 comments were against Moody. The rest of them were replies to these 5 Facebook users admonishing them for their foolishness and failure to recognise Tom Moody.
When we look at 125 comments, only 13 comments targeted Tom Moody for giving a favourable rating to India. But it is worth noting that 36 of the 125 comments were jokes about Moody’s identity being mixed up with the rating agency, 42 comments were those targeting CPI(M) supporters and the entire left ecosystem while the rest were a mix of those speaking out in support of Moody and targeting RSS supporters. This shows only around 10% of the first 125 comments targeted Moody.
The post also received 336 shares. BOOM looked at 208 shares which were public and visible. Only 3 of these 208 shares had commentary against Moody. The rest were dominated by humour, sarcasm and anti-communist posts. Even among these 3 posts, two had identical text targeting Moody.
So what does this analysis show? It is quite clear that unlike what was reported, there were no organised trolling by Communist supporters nor were a large number of Facebook users from Kerala misled to believe that Tom Moody indeed had anything to do with the rating agency by the same name.
All those websites who reported the story failed to look at how many of the total comments were actually against Moody but only looked at the post being shared widely and the rising number of comments.
How Did It All Start?
The floodgates opened when a Facebook user by the name Shijo Jose first posted a comment related to India’s upgrade by Moody Investors Service. This reply was posted on Friday, 17th November at 7:27 pm. Thereafter, Shijo’s comment receives replies that mocks him for his left-wing beliefs. This is then followed by hundreds of comments.
Translation of Shijo Jose’s comment: If you are brave, come to Kerala, you Sanghi and Modi bootlicker.
Shijo’s Facebook timeline does not reveal much except that he has posted several posts in support of the Communist ideology and the CPI(M) party. Unlike Twitter, Facebook gives you limited access to posts of those who are not on your friend list. So BOOM is unable to conclusively state whether these accounts are owned by supporters of the CPI(M) party or fake profiles created to target the party.
BOOM contacted Shijo Jose on Facebook to find out his reasons to troll Tom Moody that resulted in comments being posted on Moody’s post. We did not receive any reply. But another user (who claims to be a Congress party supporter) we contacted apologised and said that he misunderstood the identity of Tom Moody.
Meanwhile, a Twitter handle @Advaidism went on a tweet storm giving detailed screenshots claiming that fake profiles of communist supporters were created to abuse Tom Moody. @Advaidism claims these profiles were fake and owned by those supporting the RSS and the BJP.
TOI didn’t even have the time to check Govind Madhav’s fb account to clarify the news.
Anyone checking his account will realise that he is a proper 916 Sanghi. pic.twitter.com/C5RaRT4gkC
— Advaid (@Advaidism) November 20, 2017
1) Mallu Sanghis create Fake profiles impersonating as CPM Cadres.
2) These fake profiles go into Tom Moody’s FB page and abuse him.
3) Janam TV (RSS news channel in Kerala) reports it as CPM attacks Tom Moody.
4) @TOIIndiaNews & @thenewsminute fall for the fake Sanghi news. pic.twitter.com/zxQfhrdPOS
— Advaid (@Advaidism) November 18, 2017
Meanwhile, the man at the centre of the storm, Tom Moody has taken this unwanted attention on his Facebook post lightly. He shared the Times of India story on Twitter and had his own humorous take on the issue.
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) November 19, 2017