Dainik Bhaskar recently published the launch story of social app FirstWall, claiming it to be the biggest platform for video posting that helps gain a celebrity status. founderINDIA ran a fact check and realised that the claims as made in the news were questionable. It’s a FakeBizNews. Further investigations revealed that the CEO of FirstWall, Gyan Gupta is also the CEO of the publication (Dainik Bhaskar Digital). Does that give him the right to publish incorrect facts too?
On July 10, Dainik Bhaskar – a widely read and circulated newspaper – published a front page story about the launch of a social media app. With the app’s focus on video content, the story suggested that it is the biggest platform in India where people can post their videos and become celebrities. The claim was nowhere supported by data on viewership, downloads and active users. The publication only touched upon the cursory data saying that more than 3000 users are uploading 100+ hours of content on a daily basis.
Incidentally, there is a similar indigenous app Roposo that has been in the market for quite some time now. The app also offers a platform for video sharing, and even ran a ‘Be a Celebrity’ campaign during their launch last year. The numbers as disclosed from time to time by Roposo give them the top position in the lot of Indian social networks.
While the publication made imaginative claims with no statistics to substantiate the story our investigation revealed a contrast. The almost non-existent app by Dainik Bhaskar till a few days ago got some traction only after the coverage. Yet still, it could not touch the rankings as maintained by the competitor. And as evident from the chart, FirstWall is witnessing a sharp decline every passing day.
When questioned on twitter regarding the false claims, one Prashant Jha (@prashantjha1408) refuted the question. In fact, he gave it a ‘nationalistic’ twist by talking about foreign fundings instead. Per his twitter profile, Prashant is “Editor, FirstWall Dainik Bhaskar Initiative…” [screenshots attached]
Following is the link to the story as published on the news portal of Dainik Bhaskar:
The casual approach in writing the story with no fact check and questionable claims raise big questions on the ethics of Dainik Bhaskar. The issue is even more serious given the fact that it’s a venture led by their own CEO. Can Gupta have a free ride because he is the head of both – the publication as well as the app? Where is the disclaimer that FirstWall is a Dainik Bhaskar product or is also headed by the CEO of the publication? These are some pertinent questions that raise eyebrows on the credibility of the publication, integrity of the leadership, and ethics of media. Time to introspect, time to come clean.