Whenever elections are round the corner, former Congress President Sonia Gandhi often finds herself surrounded by personal targeted attacks on her and family, that are based on doctored or manipulated posts and images.
One such misreport that has been resurfacing over past seven years is,
“Sonia Gandhi is the richest political leader in the world.”
While this has been debunked by most news portals after the authenticity and factual information could not be verified, many right-wing supporter individuals, facebook pages, web portals and some who even hold official positions in the government have been spreading this misinformation repeatedly.
The fake news first originated on a flimsy website named ‘World’s Luxury Guide’ which does not exist anymore. The Business Insider reported the story in March 2012, hyperlinking a website named ‘World’s Luxury Guide’ as its source.
This website that managed to successfully peddle this fake news has been shut down now.
The Times of India had reported this news in 2013 attributing the source of the information to Huffington Post.
Huffington Post had indeed published a story on the richest world leaders where they had placed Sonia Gandhi in the 12th position. However, subsequently, Mrs. Gandhi’s name was removed from the story and the portal had clarified categorically that their editors were unable to verify the exact net worth of former Congress President and thus their link to that particular story had been deleted.
In December, 2013 another report by India Today had found that Huffington Post’s claims about Gandhi’s net worth were based on a report published by a website called Celebrity Net Worth which routinely writes on assets and possessions of famous public figures.
Accessing an archived version of the ‘list of richest leaders’ created by the website revealed that it also placed Sonia Gandhi at the 4th place. However, the website ‘World’s Luxury Guide’ has been taken down since over a year.
None of the authentic sources such as Forbes or The Guardian that published reports on India’s 100 Richest and World’s Richest Leaders respectively, ever mentioned the name of Sonia Gandhi. Bloomberg too does not carry any such report. Upon realising that the source was not credible, Huffington Post too retracted Gandhi’s name and added a clarification to its report.
However, The Times of India, however, has failed to delete the report or even give a clarification or a back-up story, giving rise to the recent deluge of misinformation.
The above report has been curated from leading fact check portal Alt News
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