Twitter flags BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s Congress ‘toolkit’ post as manipulated media

Twitter has flagged Sambit Patra’s tweet on an alleged Congress toolkit as ‘manipulated media’ after a complaint lodged by Congress.

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

Congress had filed a complaint with the Twitter headquarters levelling charges of fabrication against the BJP spokesperson. On May 18, a tweet containing screenshots of an alleged document circulated by the Congress 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 Congress 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 Congress’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’.

The action by Twitter comes a day after a formal complaint by the Congress lodged with Twitter in California. The Congress 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.

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

Source: India Today

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