Twitter flags Sambit Patra’s ‘Congress toolkit’ tweet as manipulated media
Twitter has flagged as manipulated media Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Samit Patra’s tweet on a toolkit, or a social media campaign playbook, that his party on Tuesday claimed the Congress has allegedly prepared to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP alleged the toolkit was aimed at building a biased narrative over the Indian government’s handling of the second wave of Covid-19, and the Central Vista Project.
Many top BJP leaders, including its chief JP Nadda and Union ministers Smriti Irani, Hardeep Puri, Anurag Thakur, Piyush Goyal, amplified Patra’s tweet.
The Congress accused the BJP of concocting the document on Covid-19 to defame the opposition party. It wrote to Twitter on Thursday seeking action against Patra and other BJP leaders for “grossly misusing” the platform. The Congress accused the BJP of indulging in “large-scale dissemination of false information”, which “has the potential to cause social unrest in the country”.
Congress spokesman Pawan Khera posted a screenshot of Patra’s flagged tweet and wrote on Twitter: “Doctored Patra.... Ham nahi kehtay, zamana kehta hai [we are not saying this; the world is]”
There was no immediate response from the BJP. HT reached out to Twitter for a comment but did not receive one immediately.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Congress’s research department head Rajeev Gowda said: “BJP is propagating a fake ‘toolkit’ on ‘Covid-19 mismanagement’ & attributing it to AICC [All India Congress Committe] Research Department. We are filing an FIR [First Information Report] for forgery against @jpnadda & @sambitswaraj When our country is devastated by Covid, instead of providing relief, BJP shamelessly concocts forgeries.”