Gallup Pakistan did not say that 75% of Pakistanis have never read a book outside their syllabus

Social media post made misleading claims regarding 2019 survey by Gallup Pakistan

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Claim: A misleading tweet claimed that “75% Pakistanis have never read a book outside their syllabus,” citing Gallup Pakistan, a survey research and consultancy firm affiliated with Gallup International, as an official source.

Fact: Gallup Pakistan did not release any survey results indicating that 75% of Pakistanis have never read a book outside their class syllabuses. In fact, the survey being alluded to in social media posts found that 75% of Pakistanis do not spend time reading books on a day-to-day basis. That survey was conducted in 2019, not recently.

Fact or Fiction?

On 14 January, 2022 Soch Fact Check received a screenshot of a tweet that was originally posted by Twitter user Ammar Ali Qureshi on 13 January at 9:17 AM. The tweeted image claimed that according to Gallup Pakistan, 75% of Pakistanis have never read a book outside their class syllabuses.

Soch Fact Check found the claim to be misleading as the original survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan in 2019 in fact found that 75% of Pakistanis do not spend time reading books on a day-to-day basis. The survey was conducted in four provinces with a representative sample of 1178 male and female participants. The participants were asked, “How many hours do you spend in a day reading books (course books, religious books, novels, magazines, poetry, etc.)?”  According to the Gallup Pakistan website, 16% of participants responded with “1 hour per day”, 3% said “2 hours per day”, 2% said “3 hours per day”, 2% said “4 hours per day”, and 2% said “more than 4 hours per day”. The remaining 75% of participants said that they do not spend any time in a day reading books. As is clear, the survey did not conclude that 75% of Pakistanis have never read a book outside their syllabus. The social media posts suggesting otherwise are misleading.

Gallup Pakistan Original Survey, 2019

Virality 

The 13 January tweet by Ammar Ali Qureshi received 1358 likes and was retweeted 421 times. The same image was also posted here, here, and here on Facebook on 15 January 2022.

Soch Fact Check traced the misleading post back to news website and discussion forum Siasat.pk that first published a report about the Gallup survey — with the same misleading headline as in recent reports and posts — on 23 April, 2019. Between April 2019 and December 2021, a number of posts with the same misleading claim were shared on different Facebook groups, including here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: Contrary to claims made in recent social media posts, the results of a survey by Gallup Pakistan did not demonstrate that 75% of Pakistanis have never read a book outside their class syllabi. The survey being alluded to in social media posts, in fact, found that 75% of Pakistanis do not spend time reading books on a day-to-day basis. The survey has nothing to do with syllabuses or course books, as it mentioned different genres of books. Additionally, that survey was conducted in 2019, not recently.

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