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HomePoliticsIndiaTwitter flags Sambit Patra’s INC toolkit post as 'manipulated media'

Twitter flags Sambit Patra’s INC toolkit post as ‘manipulated media’

The Twitter action follows a formal complaint by the INC in California; the party demanded a suspension of accounts of some BJP leaders


Twitter has added a ‘manipulated media’ warning on the toolkit post by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sambit Patra soon after Indian National Congress (INC) lodged a complaint with the social media platform.

INC had filed a complaint with the Twitter headquarters levelling charges of fabrication against the BJP spokesperson. On 18 May, a tweet containing screenshots of an alleged document circulated by the INC was posted by Sambit Patra, who claimed it was a ‘Toolkit’ to malign the Modi government during Covid-19 pandemic.

The controversial post by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed INC was circulating the document in the form of an advisory on how to defame the Modi government over Covid relief work during the pandemic.

Patra’s tweet said, “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”.

Sambit Patra had alleged that the screenshots of the document tagged in his post were INC’s ‘Toolkit’ on Covid-19 to help foreign media come up with anti-India stories. The tweet now carries a warning that it is a ‘manipulated media’ for all users who try to forward, like or retweet the post.

As per Twitter, posts are flagged as manipulated media if it has a reason to believe that media shared in a tweet has been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated.

Twitter’s policy section on synthetic and manipulated media policy reads, ‘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’.

However, such censorship by social media companies, including Twitter, has been observed to work in favour of one ideological side. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been on record saying that his employees are mostly leftist.

The action by Twitter comes a day after a formal complaint by the INC lodged with Twitter in California. The INC party in its complaint had called the tweet by Sambit Patra and subsequent tweets by BJP president JP Nadda, Union Minister Smriti Irani and BJP leader BL Santosh as fabricated and an attempt to spread misinformation.

INC demanded that Twitter accounts of the BJP leaders should be suspended. After Twitter’s action, social media cell head of the INC, Rohan Dua tagged Sambit Patra’s post and wrote, “We had promised to expose the lie before the country and we stand vindicated.”


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I think around 2 dozen states have similar organizations. They're not a rogue paramilitary force.

One of the panelists here, @brooks_rosa, is a Georgetown professor. She knows the way this is being described is inaccurate. Why does she go along with it? https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1467174053471567880

Tom Elliott@tomselliott

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For an opinion, write an opinion piece, don’t present it as news. News doesn’t care about your personal feelings or biases.

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