Aaj Tak shares fake ‘last’ tweets of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput

The news channel later deleted the tweet without offering any clarification.
Aaj Tak shares fake ‘last’ tweets of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput
Aaj Tak shares fake ‘last’ tweets of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput
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By Pooja Chaudhuri 

An elaborate piece on late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s “last tweets” was published by India Today Group’s Aaj Tak on June 16. Rajput died by suicide on Sunday in his Bandra apartment. Aaj Tak wrote an emotionally-charged report on these “tweets” where the late actor allegedly hinted taking his own life but subsequently deleted his tweets. Aaj Tak later took down its report without clarification. Below is a scrolling video of the complete piece.

Aaj Tak had also tweeted the article from its official Twitter account. An archived link of the tweet can be viewed here.

The same was reported by websites newstracklive.com, india.com, news4nation.com, Navodaya Times, krkboxoffice.com and verified YouTube channel Fact Diaries. India.com later altered its story into a fact-check.

The tweets were also featured in a report by Dainik Bhaskar. But the phrase “सुशांत के नाम से वायरल हुए तीन ट्वीट (Three tweets viral in the name if Sushant)” in the title was changed to “अंकिता लोखंडे सुशांत के परिवार से मिलने पहुंची (Ankita Lokhande went to meet Sushant’s family).”

Fake Tweets

That these tweets are fake is evident after one close look.

1. Imperfect alignment: The alignment of the profile picture with the text is not in a straight line as it should be. Moreover, the alignment is not consistent across three tweets.

2. Time and date stamp (highlighted in red): ‘AM’ is in small letters ‘am’ and ‘Jun’ begins with the small letter ‘j’. Furthermore, the tweets are not part of a thread yet carry the exact time-stamp. Below is a genuine tweet from Rajput’s account where the date and time stamp are carrying capital letters.

3. ‘View Tweet activity’ (highlighted in green) is visible when somebody makes a tweet from their own account. The tweet on the left is a genuine tweet from Rajput’s account as seen on Twitter where ‘View Tweet activity’ is absent.

Journalist Samina Shaikh wrote that Twitter has clarified that the tweets are fake and fabricated.


Aaj Tak lifts misinformation from social media 

The media organisation posted its tweet at 7:58 am on June 16. While the fake tweets are being widely shared, the earliest we found was posted at 5:31 am by Twitter user @KRITI___BHARTI.

Interestingly, while Alt News was writing this fact-check, the handle @KRITI___BHARTI has changed its username and the handle’s name to KANGANA RANAUT (@KANGNA_RANAUT_).

Since Sushant Singh Rajput’s death by suicide came to light, Aaj Tak has been at the forefront of insensitive reporting. A ticker during a show that ran late Sunday evening read, “Aise kaise ‘hit wicket’ ho gaye Sushant?” The channel visited the late actor’s grieving father in Patna. When the man did not respond to questions, Aaj Tak questioned his sister. The channel has also penned reports on the statement of Rajput’s relative. A Delhi-based lawyer has sent a legal notice to Aaj Tak for its “hit wicket” ticker. It is noteworthy that Aaj Tak runs a fact-checking desk while its English counterpart, India Today, is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).

This news was first published on Alt News 

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