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Fact Check: Old Video Goes Viral Claiming To Show PM Dahal Addressing People After The Ban On TikTok

Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Claim
 Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal address the people after the ban on TikTok.
Fact
The viral video is from July 2022 when Dahal spoke about the possibility of forming an alliance of socialist political forces.

Nepal government imposed a ban on popular social media App TikTok, saying that the platform fueled “social discord.” The decision drew criticisms from several quarters and a wave of legal petitions have been lodged at the apex court.  Many TikTokers have been managing to access the app through backdoor channels despite the restriction. Against this backdrop, a video allegedly showing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal addressing the people allegedly after the ban on TikTok has gone viral.

TikTok user @devendra1255 posted a video, showing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is known by his nom de guerre ‘Prachanda’, addressing the people allegedly after the ban on TikTok. Text superimposed on the video reads, “Prime Minister’s address after finding out that people are using TikTok via VPN. Please use TikTok but do not topple the government.”  In the video, Dahal is heard saying, “See the people are smarter than us. They are accessing TikTok by using VPN after the government banned it. Actually, we are also running the government via VPN. Oh Gosh! It looks quite hard to ban TikTok for real. No problem, please keep using it but don’t topple the government.” 

The video posted on November16 has garnered 29.3k likes, 2581 likes and 1893 people have commented until the time of publishing this article.The archived version of the TikTok video can be seen here.

Internet service providers say the internet traffic has surprisingly increased by 20 percent after the TikTok ban, which they believe due to installation of VPN by TikTok users.

Newschecker found the claim to be misleading.

Fact Check /Verification

To check the authenticity of the claim made in the viral video, Newschecker closely observed the video and noticed the logo of AP1 Television. Taking a clue from it, we then conducted a search on YouTube by using relevant keywords. The search led us to a short video, dated July 2022, published on the YouTube channel of AP1HD Television.  The video frames exactly matched the viral video. On listening to the audio, we found that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal was actually speaking about the impossibility of forming a new alliance called Socialist Centre.

Further, we checked PM Dahal’s social media handle and his official website. But didn’t find anything resembling the claim made in the viral video.

We found several news articles from July 2022 confirming that Dahal had ruled out the possibility of forming an alliance of socialist political forces. The articles can be seen here, here and here.

Thus, our findings clearly showed that the viral video actually shows an old video of Prime Minister Dahal from July 2022 when he spoke about the prospect of forming an alliance of socialists. The video is being passed off by laying a false audio on top.

Conclusion

No, the viral video doesn’t show Dahal addressing the people after the government imposed a ban on the use of TikTok. The viral video actually shows an old video of Dahal speaking about the prospect of forming an alliance of socialist forces.

Result: False

 Sources
AP1HD TV/YouTube , July 29, 2022
Kathmandu Post, July 4, 2022
 The Himalayan Times July 29, 2022
People’s Review, July 30, 2022


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Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal
Sanjeeb Phuyal is the Nepali Editor of Newschecker based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He brings over a decade of experience writing and editing news. In his previous stint, he worked as online editor for The Kathmandu Post. With the growth of social media platforms—and the ever-growing competition amongst media outlets to churn out breaking news, he feels that fact-checking every piece of information has become more essential today than ever before.

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