Post on ‘farmers’ protest tagged as ‘manipulated media’ by Twitter : BJP IT chief’s

Twitter on Wednesday flagged as “manipulated media” a 15-second video clip tweeted out by Bharatiya Janata Party IT cell chief Amit Malviya claiming that an elderly farmer had not been attacked by police as alleged by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his own tweet which accompanied a photograph showing the policeman raising his lathi at the farmer.

Malviya’s tweet with the video, juxtaposed with the photo posted by Gandhi and raising questions on the latter’s credibility was tagged by the social media company with anyone clicking or tapping on the “manipulated media” tag being taken to tweets by fact checking websites that showed that the farmer had indeed been assaulted (but by a special policeman and shortly before the farmer gone by the one raising his lathi) and also quoting him (the farmer) to the present effect.

“The referenced Tweet was labelled supported our Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy. As explained within the policy, so as to work out if media are significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, we may use our own technology or receive reports through partnerships with third parties,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

Other people conversant in the matter said that while Twitter doesn’t have a fact-checking policy, it uses its own team and third party partnerships to work out whether media has been significantly manipulated.

The video in question wasn’t first posted by Malviya but by a Twitter handle called Political Kida.

The video and therefore the photograph were shot at a Delhi border where thousands of farmers, who have marched from Punjab toward the capital to protest against new farm legislation they assert will hurt their interests, are camped. It dates back to November 28.

Posting the images on Twitter on November 28, Gandhi tweeted in Hindi that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “arrogance has turned farmer against soldier”. The tweet termed this a “dangerous” trend.