"Prime Minister Imran Khan has made a gaffe claiming that the COVID-19 curve has been flattening in Pakistan. The faux pas happened because he was reading the chart upside down," read the report.
The story was also picked up by media portals such as Newsd and Outlook. The report has now been taken down by Outlook.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan said the COVID-19 curve was flattening after he read the graph upside down.
The claim is false. Keyword search of the story leads to a Pakistani satire website called The Dependent.
The article clearly mentions a disclaimer at the bottom of the article which states that the report is a work of satire and is not the truth.
Further, the website clearly mentions the word 'satire' in bold letters beside every article published in that segment, including the article on the Pakistan PM.
Debunked On Twitter
A Twitter account 'Not The Dependent' tweeted a screenshot of the IANS article and wrote, "Learn to differentiate between satire and actual news reports."
In the screenshot attached with the tweet, the byline mentioned Aarti Tikoo Singh as the author. Singh is the Foreign and Strategic Affairs Editor at IANS.
Learn to differentiate between satire and actual news reports @ians_india— Not The Dependent (@DependentNot) May 7, 2020
And hands off our PM. He may be a petty, facile, undemocratically imposed lackey without principles, but he's OUR petty, facile, undemocratically imposed lackey without principles! pic.twitter.com/mrTIeS4SBl
She herself took to the microblogging site to state her error.
"I mistook satire for serious news," the journalist said.
I mistook satire for serious news. The hate-AartiTikoo brigade in its frenzy is projecting as if my mistake is the biggest ever crime. Yes, stupid of me; I apologise for my error. But imagine the journos who deliberately peddle Pakistani propaganda & bigotry against India daily.— Aarti Tikoo Singh (@AartiTikoo) May 8, 2020
The Dependent in their Twitter account has posted the article on May 6 with a disclaimer band which read "satire" in bold letters.
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