Usually, we tend to trust all the known news outlets who have a verified account on Twitter. However, these accounts are not always exempt from spreading fake news. In a recent case, several media houses such as The Times of India, The Economic Times, Times Now, etc. reported that the Deputy Leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Asle Toje, lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the ‘biggest contender for the Nobel Peace Prize’.
Times Now editor Rahul Shivshankar tweeted this about Modi being the “biggest contender” for the award on Thursday:
Economic Times posted and since then, has deleted the following tweet:
The DFRAC team investigated these claims and found that a full length version of this interview is uploaded on Youtube
The first mention of Modi is at 3:45 of the interview, when the interviewer asks Toje if PM Modi is capable of stopping the Russia-Ukraine war by leadership. Toje replies, “Well, you’re asking whether he is a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. I have the same answer for everybody: I hope that every leader of every nation will be inspired to do the work that is necessary to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I hope that for Modi. Obviously, I am following his efforts; we all are. I really hope that his initiatives will come to fruition”.
The interviewer repeats his question again at 5:06, to which Toje says “It will not be my place to put a challenge for the Prime Minister of India. I want every leader in the world to work for peace and powerful leaders like Modi have much more chance and ability to do so. I am happy to see that he is devoting his time not only to further the cause of India and to grow the strength to grow the Indian economy, but he also spends time on issues that are not so close to home but which are of interest to the global community and peace in the world.”
As one can see, there was no mention of Modi being the top contender for the Nobel Peace Prize, despite the interviewer’s persistence. Toje himself has gone on to directly deny such claims in an interview with ANI, saying “I am the deputy leader of the Nobel committee. A fake news tweet was sent out. And I think we should treat it as all fake news. It’s fake! Let’s not discuss it. Let’s not give it energy or oxygen. I categorically deny that I said anything resembling what was in that tweet.”
Asle Toje did not say that Prime Minister Modi was the ‘biggest contender’ for the Nobel Peace Prize. Hence, this viral claim is vastly misleading.