Imran Khan’s Twitter Space did not set a Guinness World Record

The certificate going viral is doctored.

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Claim: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan set a Guinness World Record for having the most listeners in a Twitter Space on 20 April 2022. (Twitter Spaces is a feature that allows you to have live audio conversations on the platform.)

Fact: While Khan hosted a record-breaking Twitter Space with 165,000 live listeners tuning in at one time, claims that this record was acknowledged by the Guinness World Record authorities are misleading. 

Fact or Fiction?

On 21 April 2022, Facebook page Rehan Yasir Saroia shared an image of a Guinness World Record that states, “World Record for having the most listeners in a Twitter Space (165K+) is achieved by Imran Khan.”

The claim was picked up by multiple Facebook profiles and pages including, here, here, here, here, here and here.

It was also shared on some groups, including here, here, here, here, and here, among others. 

On 20 April 2022, Khan went live on Twitter Spaces to connect with his supporters. Twitter Spaces is a feature that allows you to have live audio conversations on the platforms. During the 20 April  session, which lasted about 80 minutes, the number of live listeners reached 165,000 at one point.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members claimed that Khan’s Twitter Space created a new record for the most-listened to space in the platform’s history surpassing the older record of 44,000 people listening in on a conversation hosted by K-pop star BamBam.

The Guinness World Record certificate in question is doctored. Soch Fact Check found that the font used in the viral certificate is different from the one used in certificates posted on Guinness’ official website. The word “Officially Amazing” commonly found on official certificates is also missing from the viral certificate. 

Moreover, it appears that those sharing the claim based their posts on a 20 April 2022 tweet by Twitter user Shahryar (Shahryar009). The user had changed his Twitter display name to ‘Guinness World Record’ at the time of posting along with changing his display to Guinness’ official logo to mislead people. ‘We can confirm that Mr. @ImranKhanPTI’s space held on 20th April 2022 has broken the World Record of having the most listeners’,” he had tweeted.

Soch Fact Check also found a post on Facebook carrying a screenshot of a Twitter account that used ‘GUINESS WORLD RECORD’ as its display name. The tweet reads, “Congratulations to @PTIOfficial for hosting a World Record Twitter Space. We will enter this in our latest edition of Book and its already added on our website.”

It is pertinent to note that the spelling of Guinness used in the aforementioned tweet is incorrect. The correct spelling is Guinness. 

A Google search revealed that there were no reports of Imran Khan making or holding a Guinness World Record, although many media outlets reported that he broke all world records for addressing the largest Twitter Space live.

Social media consultant and industry analyst Matt Navarra also took note of it. “This Twitter Space with @PTIofficial @ImranKhanPTI currently has 164k+ live listeners. A new @TwitterSpaces record?,” he tweeted along with sharing a screenshot of the numbers on Twitter.

Soch Fact Check could not find any official statement by Twitter acknowledging the record.

Virality

According to a CrowdTangle analysis conducted by Soch Fact Check, the search term “ Imran Khan Guinness World Record” turned up 34 posts on Facebook which received 859 interactions over the 30-day period leading up to 27 April 2022. The interactions peaked between 17 April to 23 April 2022. 

The analysis revealed that Rehan Yasir Saroia’s post is performing 6.66x better than other similar posts with 373 likes and 67 shares.

A post by  page Absolutely Not gained significant traction with 373 likes and 1,300 shares. 

Conclusion: While Khan’s 20 April 2022 Twitter Space did have 165,000 people tune in to listen to him at one time, the claim that he was acknowledged by Guinness World Record authorities for a record-breaking Twitter Space is misleading.

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