Recently, the news about Prime Minister Imran Khan being conferred “Muslim Man of the Year” in “The 500 Most Influential Muslims,” an annual publication by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center, was fervently celebrated at the official level.
PTV and Radio Pakistan ran the story for hours while members of the ruling party heaped praises on PM Imran Khan on being named Muslim Man of the Year.
Not just this, #PMIKMuslimManOfYear and #TheMuslim500 trended all night long on Twitter as more than 60,000 tweets were posted using these hashtags.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) also shared the news on its official Twitter account.
However, BBC Urdu has pointed out that it is a piece of old news based on a story that was originally published in October last year.
On 8 October 2019, Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center had originally named Prime Minister Imran Khan as Muslim Man of the Year in the 11th issue of The 500 Most Influential Muslims.
Imran Khan’s efforts to improve bilateral relations with India, resolve disputes peacefully, and maintain regional peace and stability were acknowledged in the 11th issue of the magazine.
Back then, PTI’s official Twitter had also shared the news on its official Twitter account.
How the Story Went Viral?
It all started when The News, a local English daily, initially ran this story on 23 August which was picked by both local and international publishers.
The News had published the same story back in October last year as well.
When contacted by BBC Urdu, a senior journalist at The News, who asked not to be named, said he was also surprised over the fact that The News has republished a story which it had published in October last year as well.
Head of PTI social media team, Muhammad Kamran, has said that sharing popular news about Imran Khan is a part of the social media policy of PTI which is why this news was shared despite it being based on an old story.
Each year in October, Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center issues The 500 Most Influential Muslims’ latest edition for the coming year.
For instance, The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2019, the publication’s 10th edition, was published in October 2018 in which Malaysia’s Mahathir bin Mohamad was named as the Muslim Man of the Year.
Similarly, The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2020, the publication’s 11th edition, was published in October 2019 in which Prime Minister Imran Khan was named as the Muslim Man of the Year.
Back then, the story was covered by almost every publisher soon after the 11th edition of The 500 Most Influential Muslims was released.
However, The News decided to republish the exact story over the weekend that it had already published in October last year, causing the old news to go viral again.
Via: BBC Urdu