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Video of US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Shared With Misleading Claims Related To New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern

A Whatsapp message claims that New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern speaks about her strength derived from Indian scriptures in a video. The message reads, “ New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. She speaks on her strength derived from Indian scriptures. This is so beautiful n superb. ”  You can watch the entire video we received with the claim below. 

Video we received with the claim on New Zealand’s PM Ardern

We received this message on our Whatsapp verification number asking us to verify this claim. 

Claim we received on our Whatsapp verification number
Claim we received on our Whatsapp verification number

This claim is widely circulating on Twitter and Facebook as well. You can see a few examples of this below.

https://www.facebook.com/geetasociety/posts/1231591460520469
https://www.facebook.com/RajasekaranRJ/posts/3558132897530528

Fact Check/ Verification 

As a start, we ran a reverse image search of the video’s keyframes on InVid, an online verification tool. The resulting Google search led us to a link on reddit.com. 

InVid search result of the claim's video
InVid search result of the claim’s video

Taking cue from the link on Reddit, we did a Google advanced search on the keywords “Tulsi Gabbard Janmashtami.” This led us to Tulsi Gabbard’s official Youtube channel. On 10 August, a video titled, Tulsi Gabbard’s 2020 Janmashtami Message” was published and has received over 92,000 views so far. 

Tulsi Gabbard is a Congresswoman in the United States of America and former US presidential candidate (as per her Twitter profile). Gabbard posted a tweet from her personal Twitter handle on 11 August wishing a “Happy Janmashtami” to all those celebrating around the world. Her tweet gained over 48K likes and 13K retweets at the time of writing this fact check and it reads as follows: 

“To all celebrating around the world, I want to wish you a very Happy Janmashtami! May we always be blessed with remembrance of Sri Krishna, His unconditional love, and His transcendental appearance in this world. Jai Sri Krishna! #HappyJanmashtami #KrishnaJanmashtami

She also posted this video of her wishing a happy Janmashtami on her Facebook account on 11 August. 

https://www.facebook.com/TulsiGabbard/posts/3380631785326550

According to our research, we can say that the claim in context passes off Gabbard’s video as a message by the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. For further clarification, you can view PM Ardern’s photograph below. 

PM Jacinda Ardern's profile on New Zealand's government website
PM Jacinda Ardern’s profile on New Zealand’s government website

Conclusion 

Our research makes it clear that the Whatsapp message which claims the video in context to be of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking of deriving her strength from Indian scriptures is misleading. The video actually shows US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard wishing a happy Janmashtami to all those celebrating around the world.  

Result: Misleading

Our Sources

Tulsi Gabbard’s verified Youtube channel

Tulsi Gabbard’s verified Twitter account

Tulsi Gabbard’s verified Facebook account

PM Jacinda Ardern’s profile on New Zealand’s government website: https://www.govt.nz/organisations/department-of-the-prime-minister-and-cabinet/


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 the form.

Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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