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Remove the 'manipulated media' tag on tweet of Congress toolkit; Centre tells Twitter

Remove the manipulated media tag on tweet of Congress toolkit; Centre tells Twitter

The government has requested Twitter to remove the "manipulated media" tag on the tweet of BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleging it as "pre-judged, prejudiced and a deliberate attempt to colour investigations", sources said. Sambit Patra's tweet on May 18 on an alleged "Congress toolkit" to discredit COVID-19 efforts of the central government and PM Modi was flagged by Twitter.

"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 tweeted, with alleged screenshots from the document. The tweet was tagged on Thursday evening.

The Ministry for Electronics and IT objected to the use of the tag on "certain tweets made by Indian political leaders with reference to a toolkit created to undermine, derail and demean the efforts of the government against COVID-19."

The Congress had filed FIRs against the tweet in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, accusing the BJP leaders of sharing fake toolkits based on forged screenshots. The party had also written to Twitter demanding the deletion of the tweet and the suspension of the accounts of BJP leaders alleging "misinformation and unrest in society". The government, however, has claimed that the veracity of the toolkit is already under investigation

"The investigation will determine the veracity of the content, not Twitter. Twitter should not interfere in the investigation process. Twitter cannot pass its judgment while the matter is under investigation," the sources said.

It added that "such content moderation by Twitter puts a question mark on its status as an intermediary and its credibility as a neutral and unbiased platform facilitating the exchange of views by users". While the investigation is still on, Twitter "has unilaterally drawn a conclusion in this matter and arbitrarily tagged it as 'Manipulated Media'", the government says.

Twitter's "synthetic and manipulated media policy" says, "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."

Fact-checking website Alt News has noted that the "AICC (All India Congress Committee) Research Department" letterhead on the document shared by Patra was forged and raised questions on the content, saying the BJP had not shared the original documents.

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TAGS:TwitterSambit patraCongress toolkit
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