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HomeFact CheckAhead Of Karnataka Assembly Elections, Fabricated ‘BBC Survey’ Predicting BJP’s Return To...

Ahead Of Karnataka Assembly Elections, Fabricated ‘BBC Survey’ Predicting BJP’s Return To Power Goes Viral

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Claim
A BBC survey predicts the BJP’s return to power in Karnataka with an over 140 seats win in the upcoming Assembly Elections.

Fact
A thorough search through the websites and social media handles related to the BBC did not yield any such survey. Such a fabricated survey attributed to the BBC had gone viral ahead of the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections too.

Ahead of the Karnataka assembly elections, an alleged pre-poll survey attributed to the BBC has gone viral on social media platforms. The alleged survey forecasts the BJP’s return to power in Karnataka with a “massive majority.” It further predicts over 140 seats for the BJP, while allotting 58 to 66 seats for the Congress and 22 to 29 for the JDS. The post then details a “region wise tally” of the predicted seat win across the state, followed by “observations” highlighting what worked for the BJP in the state, and how “infighting” in “wrecking” the Congress.

The alleged BBC survey is doing the rounds on Facebook.

Such posts can be seen here, here and here.

Another version of the viral post states, “*BBC Survey: BJP will return to power in Karnataka with massive majority, Surveys say Rulling Party will win 140+ seats in Karnataka polls* https://bbc.com/hindi/topics/c340qr11vwyt  *Congress leaders have a war to fight among themselves before the battle with BJP,* (sic)” is being shared on Twitter. 

Archived versions of such tweets can be seen here, here and here.

Newschecker also received the viral “survey” on our WhatsApp tipline (+91-9999499044 ) requesting to be fact checked.


Also Read: Fake BBC Hindi Tweet Claiming Karan Johar, Alia & Ranbir Donated Money To Flood-Hit Pakistan Goes Viral

Fact Check/Verification

On carefully analysing the viral post, we spotted several grammatical and punctuation errors in the write up. Additionally, “ruling” party has been erroneously spelled as “rulling” party. Further, the “region wise tally” in the viral post lists the seat breakup for Mumbai Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka regions, however they have been renamed to Kittur Karnataka and Kalyana Karnataka respectively by the state government. The language and tone of the post also raises doubts.

Screengrab from viral post

We inspected the link shared in the viral post, which directed us to the landing page for stories related to “कर्नाटक” (Karnataka) on the official website of BBC News Hindi. We skimmed through the webpage, but did not find any such survey on 2023 Karnataka Elections.

Karnataka Assembly Elections
Screengrab from BBC News Hindi website


BBC’s English language website did not feature any such survey either. A keyword search for “Karnataka” and “survey” on the BBC website did not yield any relevant results. 

Following this, we scanned through the Twitter handles of BBC News Hindi and BBC News India, which were devoid of any mention of a pre-poll survey in Karnataka. 

Also Read: Truth Behind Viral Hoax Warning Against Whatsapp Gold, ‘Martinelli’ & ‘Dance Of The Pope’ Videos

Old MO Ahead Of 2023 Karnataka Assembly Elections

We then looked up “BBC,” “Karnataka” and “Survey” on Twitter, which threw up a post by @BBCNewsPR, dated May 7, 2018. The tweet carried a screengrab of a WhatsApp message attributing a survey on Karnataka polls to the BBC, and termed it “fake.” “The BBC does not commission pre-election surveys in India,” the tweet added, indicating that such a fabricated assessment had gone viral ahead of 2the 018 Karnataka Assembly Elections too.

Screengrab from tweet by @BBCNewsPR

In May 2018, BBC News India also clarified via a tweet, “A fake survey on Karnataka polls has been circulating on WhatsApp and claims to be from BBC News. We’d like to make absolutely clear that it’s a #fake and does not come from the BBC. The BBC does not commission pre-election surveys in India. #fakenews.”

Further, we noticed the use of rhombus shaped symbols while listing the seat breakup in the current viral post and a similar use of rhombus/star/circle icons in the 2018 message. Notably, the asterisk mark (*) in the beginning and end of several sentences in the viral post suggest that it likely originated as a WhatsApp message.

Screengrab from viral post

Newschecker has reached out to the BBC seeking clarification on the matter. The article will be updated upon receiving a response from them.

Conclusion

We could thus conclude that the viral post carrying a BBC survey predicting the BJP’s victory in upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections is fabricated.

Result: False

Sources
Official Website Of BBC News Hindi
Official Website Of BBC
Tweet By @BBCNewsPR, Dated May 7, 2018
Self Analysis


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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