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HomeFact CheckDeepfake Video Of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Announcing Partnership With Crypto Trading...

Deepfake Video Of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Announcing Partnership With Crypto Trading Platform Goes Viral

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces a strategic partnership with a crypto trading platform named Quantum Trade.

Fact
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not announce any such partnership with Quantum Trade, a crypto trading platform. The video showing her announcement of such a partnership has been digitally manipulated.

A video featuring Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing a strategic partnership with Quantum Trade, a crypto trading platform has gone viral on social media. However, in our investigation we found that the viral video was digitally altered.

The 59 seconds viral video shows the finance minister talking about partnership between the Government of India and Quantum Trader.

As we navigate the currents of economic evolution, it is with great pleasure that I announce a groundbreaking partnership between the Government of India and Quantum Trader, an innovative platform fostering financial empowerment, in our commitment to uplift every citizen, especially those facing economic challenges. This alliance seeks to provide an avenue for wealth creation. The Quantum Trader, with its advanced automated trading capabilities, opens doors for individuals to participate in the financial markets, a prospect previously deemed exclusive. Our collaboration aims to democratize wealth, empowering those who strive to make ends meet. The Government acknowledges the potential of Quantum Trader in shaping a prosperous future for our citizens. This partnership signifies a strike towards financial inclusion. Together, we envision a landscape where Quantum Trader contributes significantly to the economic wellbeing of our nation,” she  is heard saying.

The post can be seen here.

The video has been shared by many Facebook accounts, few of which can be seen here, here and here.

Fact Check/Verification

We began by conducting a Google Search with the keywords “Partnership between the Government of India and Quantum Trader”, but no news links or valid announcement documents were found, raising our doubts.

If such a partnership had indeed been announced, it would have been covered by media outlets. However, no reports confirming such a partnership were found.

Subsequently, Newschecker used the InVid Tool to extract key frames of the viral video and conducted a Google reverse image search on a few of them, which took us to an Instagram post of FM Nirmala Sitharaman, dated December 22, 2023. Where we can see her in the same attire she is dressed in the viral video. The caption of the post reads, “Addressed the media in New Delhi on the efforts of the Central Government on Tamil Nadu flood relief.”

Further research led us to a 56-minute video of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference on December 22, 2023 on the official YouTube channel of the Press Information Bureau. The video from the press conference was titled “Press Conference by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Govt. Efforts for Tamil Nadu Flood Relief.”

In the original video, the finance minister is addressing a press conference in Tamil. However, the viral clip presents the finance minister delivering the speech in English.

Different parts of the video of the press conference has been edited together to form the viral video and the lips movement has been altered presumably using AI technology.

Comparison 1

Comparison 2

This makes it clear that the viral video showing Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of partnering with a crypto trading platform has been digitally altered and has been taken from her recent press conference on Tamil Nadu flood relief.

We further examined the link that was embedded in the viral post, and found that it led to a purported interview of Elon Musk by Fox News. In this purported interview, Musk is  seen ‘announcing’ the Quantum Trade Platform.

We looked up the official website of Fox News, but could not find any such interview. We also checked Elon Musk’s social media accounts but found no mention of his alleged new crypto trading platform. There were also other inconsistencies with the webpage. All the icons in the  webpage (on the title bar and the ‘More From Fox News’ section) were found to be placeholders and did not lead us anywhere when clicked.

We also noticed that all the hyperlinks on the webpage took us to the sign up page for the crypto trading platform, confirming that the webpage was bogus.

Conclusion

It is found that the viral video is edited and the audio has been added to it separately. There is no partnership between the Government of India and Quantum Trader announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamn.

Result: Altered Video

Sources
1. Video published by Press Information Bureau, dated Dec 22, 2023
2. Instagram post by Nirmala Sitharaman, dated Dec 22, 2023


If you would like us to fact-check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at checkthis@newschecker.in. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill out the form.

Authors

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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