In a major setback for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Twitter Flagged Chief Spokesperson Sambit Patra’s ‘Toolkit’ Tweet as ‘Manipulated Media.’
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet alleging a “Congress toolkit” to discredit the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Covid handling has been marked as “manipulated media” by Twitter. The Congress had urged Twitter to remove tweets by him and other BJP leaders, citing its police complaint calling the so-called “toolkit”
Sambit Patra had posted the tweet on May 18 with the hashtag #CongressToolkitExposed. It was shared by several BJP leaders.
“Friends look at the #CongressToolKit in extending help to the needy during the Pandemic! More of a PR exercise with the help of “Friendly Journalists” & “Influencers” than a soulful endeavour. Read for yourselves the agenda of the Congress: #CongressToolKitExposed,” he had written, sharing what he called were screenshots from the document.
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.
You should be able to find reliable information on Twitter. That means understanding whether the content you see is real or fabricated and having the ability to find more context about what you see on Twitter. Therefore, we may label Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated. In addition, you may not share deceptively altered media on Twitter in ways that mislead or deceive people about the media’s authenticity where threats to physical safety or other serious harm may result.
In order for content to be labeled or removed under this policy, we must have reason to believe that media, or the context in which media are presented, are significantly and deceptively altered or manipulated. Synthetic and manipulated media take many different forms and people can employ a wide range of technologies to produce these media. In assessing whether media have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated.
This comes after Congress complained to Twitter that the ensemble of pages, circulated as the party’s ‘toolkit’ by top BJP leaders, was fake. Earlier, fact-checking website AltNews had also published a comprehensive report establishing that the document shared by BJP’s top leadership was created on a forged Congress letterhead and shared on social media.
BJP leaders who amplified the hashtag #CongressToolKitExposed were party president J.P. Nadda, Union ministers Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Hardeep Singh Puri, Kiren Rijiju, Anurag Thakur and Pralhad Joshi, Uttarahand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat, Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh, MPs Rajyavardhan Rathore, Tejasvi Surya, Rahul Kaswan, P.C. Mohan, Shobha Karandlaje, Manoj Kotak and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, and BJP national general secretary B.L. Santhosh.
Congress also wrote to Twitter, demanding the social media giant remove those tweets and permanently suspend the accounts of those who shared the fake toolkit. The letter said that top BJP functionaries had used Twitter as a platform to disseminate “false information” which could “cause social unrest in the country, amidst the current pandemic.”
The Congress Wednesday hit out at the BJP over the toolkit issue, accusing the ruling party of deploying “forgery” to divert public attention from the government’s alleged failures in managing the coronavirus pandemic.
Research department head Rajeev Gowda admitted that the research note about the central vista project is genuine. But he accused the BJP of “forging” the one on Covid.
Fact-checking website Alt News said the “AICC (All India Congress Committee) Research Department” letterhead on the documents was forged and raised questions on the content, saying the BJP had not shared the original documents.
Congress files case against BJP leaders
The Congress on Tuesday filed a police complaint against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J.P. Nadda and others after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra held a press conference accusing the Opposition party of preparing a “toolkit” to destroy the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The complaint — filed at the Tughlak Road Police Station by All India Congress Committee (AICC) research department head Rajeev Gowda and social media head Rohan Gupta — also named Union Minister Smriti Irani and BJP’s organising secretary B. L. Santosh, apart from Mr. Nadda and Mr. Patra.