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Twitter labelling tweet with manipulated media, 1st time in India

Twitter labelling tweet with manipulated media, 1st time in India

Twitter has marked a tweet by BJP social media chief Amit Malviya on the farmers’ protest as ‘manipulated media’. The tweet in question was posted on November 28 with Malviya aiming at former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who had tweeted a photograph, also posted by several Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi, showed a cop swinging a baton at the farmer who was trying to dodge the blow.

Rahul had then said, “It is a very sad photo. Our slogan was ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ but today PM Modi’s arrogance made the jawan stand against the farmer. This is very dangerous.” To this, Malviya shared a video clip with a caption ‘propaganda’ and ‘reality’. The video shared by Malviya showed the policeman raising his baton towards the elderly protester but not hitting the farmer as the farmer walked away. He also commented that “Rahul Gandhi must be the most discredited opposition leader India has seen in a long long time.”

However, fact-checking websites like Alt News called out the video saying it was clipped and did not show the farmers being beaten up by police. The farmer shown in the image also gave an interview to another fact-checking site Boomlive and showed his injury marks. PTI photographer Ravi Choudhary, who clicked the picture that was circulated in the media and used by Rahul, also posted pictures showing farmers’ being hit, especially one on the farmer who was in the limelight. It is not sure whether the same policeman hit the elderly protester in the widely circulated image, which also inspired several artworks. According to the Twitter policy, “you may not deceptively promote synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.” 

Twitter’s move led to a flurry of reactions, with rivals Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) commenting it was a first in India. Ravi Choudhary was quoted by Alt News as saying: “I clicked the picture from the other side and it cannot be said with certainty whether the baton touched the farmer or not because there was a lot of commotion at the time. The police were lathi-charging at the protestors and the farmer was running in the other direction to save himself. He may have been hit by another cop earlier if not this one.”

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About The Author

Praveen Yadav

19 | Bibliophile and quaint | Full-Time Coder, Occasional Writer | Analytical Journalist at NDTV | Political and Psychological

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