A fake tweet masquerading as one made by Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury is going viral on social media. The tweet shows Yechury shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the text of the tweet has Yechury saying that it is a pleasure to meet his ‘boss’.
However, the tweet is completely fake.
Communist Party of China values ties with CPI(M), begins the tweet, going on to say that Yechury is happy to meet his boss and achieve the targets set by him in India.
According to the photo, the tweet had come at 8:29 pm on 20 October 2015 and had received 12k retweets and 34k likes.
The Quint found many people sharing the photo of this tweet on Facebook.
The Quint also received the same photo from a reader with a request to fact-check the same.
WHAT WE FOUND
Using Twitter Advanced Search, we tried to find out if the tweet had actually come from Sitaram Yechury, but the tool yielded no results for the date that the tweet had allegedly been made, 20 October 2015.
Next, we noticed that Yechury’s Twitter bio says that he had joined Twitter in October 2015.
However, since the bio did not mention the date, we used a tool to find the exact date Yechury joined Twitter. Using a website called Twitter Join Date, we found that Yechury had joined the micro-blogging platform only on 29 October 2015.
Therefore, it is clear that the photo of the tweet from 20 October 2015 doing the rounds cannot be from Yechury’s Twitter handle, since it was only created nine days later. This was Yechury’s first tweet on 29 October from his handle.
Warmest greetings to Comrade Bidya Devi Bhandari, new President of Nepal.#cpimspeak— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) October 29, 2015
Further, we noticed that there was an alignment issue in the viral tweet. In the tweet on the right, taken from Yechury’s timeline on 19 June 2020, the profile picture, the text and the photo are all aligned in one straight line. However, in the viral tweet, all of the same are out of alignment, which is not Twitter’s format.
Additionally, when we performed a reverse search on the image in the viral tweet, we came across an article by The Hindu which carried the same photo and talked about a visit by Yechury on Xi Jinping and Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao.
Interestingly, the article was dated 20 October, 2015, the same date as the viral tweet and the headline of the article is “‘Communist Party of China values ties with CPI(M)’”, the same as the first sentence of the fake tweet.
Moreover, we also found that the CPI(M) had taken to their verified Facebook account to call out the viral photo as fake.
Stop Lie Manufacturing Another example of sanghi dirty tricks Com Sitaram joined Twitter on Oct 29th, 2015. This fake...Posted by Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday, June 22, 2020
Therefore, it is clear that the photo of a tweet by Yechury doing the rounds is fake and has been morphed into existence. This comes in the aftermath of the recent face-off in the Galwan Valley.
Earlier, The Quint had debunked morphed images of Yechury, along with CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, that were being circulated online with the claim that they raised slogans against the Indian Army and supported China after the clash between troops of India and China.
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