Days after Bhatatiya Janata Party (BJP) IT Cell Head Amit Malviya posted an edited clip from the farmers’ protest, Twitter on Wednesday, 2 December, added a “manipulated media” label to it.
Malviya had quote tweeted a tweet posted by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and shared a ‘Propaganda vs Reality’ video claiming that the police didn’t even touch the farmer.
Gandhi had earlier on Saturday, 28 November, shared an image captured by a PTI photographer showing a security personnel purportedly about to hit a farmer with a baton at the Singhu border, amid the ongoing farmers’ protest.
Fact-checkers in India, including The Quint’s WebQoof fact-checked Malviya’s tweet and showed how the video shared by Malviya was a clipped version of a longer video which showed the policemen baton-charging the farmers.
Fact-checking website BOOM had also contacted the farmer, Sukhdev Singh, who said that he was indeed hit by the baton. While describing the sequence of events, he said that police was firing tear gas shells and wielding lathis.
“I saw them wielding their lathis and tried to stop it using my hand but it instead hit my forearm, just below my wrist," he said, showing his injuries to the fact-checking portal. He further added that the lathi (baton) did hit my calf but the injury isn’t severe because I was protected by the clothes I wear underneath.
AMIT MALVIYA’S TRYST WITH MISINFORMATION
Malviya has been called out several times by multiple fact-checkers for sharing misinformation but it is the first time that Twitter has put a warning label on his tweet.
Speaking to The Quint, a Twitter spokesperson said that the tweet was labelled based on Twitter’s Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy.
“We also consider whether the context in which media are shared could result in confusion or misunderstanding or suggests a deliberate intent to deceive people about the nature or origin of the content, for example by falsely claiming that it depicts reality. We assess the context provided alongside media to see whether it makes clear that the media have been altered or fabricated.”Twitter Spokesperson
We have reached out to Malviya and his comment will be added to the story as and when he responds.
Twitter had previously added warning labels on tweets from US President Donald J Trump during the 2020 US elections. It appears to be the first time that such an action has been taken against an Indian politician/leader.
(Editor’s Note: The story has been updated with Twitter’s response.)