Beware! Don’t fall for the lie that “97% of cow related violence happened after 2014”

It is often said that a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on. If you have been watching the  media over the last few days, you might have come across a puzzling statistic that “97%” of cow related violence happened after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media has been actively promoting this number and here are just a few examples of media outlets that have made it to the roll of dishonor thus far.

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Where did this 97% number originate? It turns out that all these articles are referencing a report compiled by an organization called IndiaSpend  over here:

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I visited their website and discovered that they claim to do something called “data journalism”. Which is shocking, because the way the methodology behind their “data” of 97% cow related violence happening after 2014 is so dishonest that it can only be considered a lynching of statistics.

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A “database” on crime compiled not by looking at police records, but by running Google searches with certain keywords! Worse, they decided to stick to English language media only, taking pride in saying that a “cursory search” through Hindi media “appeared” to throw up the same incidents.

Well, the Hindi media should count its blessings. At least they got a “cursory search”. Everyone knows that nothing worth talking about is ever reported in media in any other language.

So, if the English media chooses not to cover an incident, it doesn’t get counted! Of course they found that 97% of cow related violence happened after 2014!

Hey IndiaSpend, why stop there? For your next “data journalism report”, perhaps you could save some more effort and just search the NDTV website instead of all of English language media. Why do that even? Why not just collect all your “data” from Rajdeep Sardesai’s Twitter Timeline? There’s no way that could throw up a fake, distorted picture of India, right?

If only IndiaSpend had bothered with a “cursory” search regarding the ethical methods of data collection….

This 97% number and the media fanfare surrounding it is something of a watershed moment in the history of fake news. Liberals couldn’t find the actual data to prove their accusations against the Modi government. The Indiaspend report is the first attempt that I know of where liberal outrage itself has been recycled into “data”.

Considering the furious pace at which the mainstream media has fanned this piece of fake news, it is only a matter of time before this number of 97% becomes a fixture as well in international reports about India.

This first wave of  “reports” in the Hindustan Times, Economic Times, Firstpost and Business Standard will soon be referenced by BBC and New York Times.

In turn, future articles in Indian media will reference this second wave of “reports”, firmly establishing this fake 97% number in the discourse.

The final stage will consist of academics and court poet historians whose job it is to turn the fake news into accepted historical fact.

It is up to the common people to resist.

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3 thoughts on “Beware! Don’t fall for the lie that “97% of cow related violence happened after 2014”

  1. It is upto the common people to resist – but how ? In fact, for their next search, even this article will be counted! Unless the leftist media is wiped out, I don’t see much hope.

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  2. THIS is where NaMo’s comments were so unfortunate! He doesn’t seem to realise that his job is to set the record straight, not to fan the rumours himself.

    While this particular news item is bogus, there are any number of such motivated statistics making the rounds that have become part of liberal discourse. As RV says, the common people cannot “resist” in any meaningful sense of the word. But if it is any consolation, I have not met any Americans who started off with “I saw this story on CNN about India …” So all these fake news outlets are not having much impact on normal people.

    They are also not having much impact on businessmen, who continue to view India positively as an investment destination. So what we must do is to ensure that India grows and grows, so that other countries cannot ignore us any more. That is up to all of us, not just “the government.”

    BTW today a Muslim journalist of NDTV has been circulating a story that he was threatened by a “mob” to say “Jai Shri Ram” or else get burned. This story was then circulated by HuffPo and BBC, but NOT by NDTV! What should one make of it?

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  3. Well put, CW. This reminds me of the ‘Sonia Unhappy’ google searches – which were a nefarious ploy to distance Sonia from every blunder and plunder of her government !

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