Twitter controversy in India: What is the 'manipulated media' row all about?

Delhi - Delhi police had carried out a search operation at the social media giant's offices on Monday.

By Web report

Published: Tue 25 May 2021, 1:06 PM

For those keen on knowing what ‘manipulated media’ is all about, Twitter — which is right now in the midst of a major controversy on the issue in India — has an elaborate, 1,000-plus word explanation about its ‘Synthetic and manipulated media policy'.

On social media, ‘manipulated media' means fabricated or fake pieces, videos and photographs. Twitter introduced the tag in March 2020.

“You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm,” Twitter had announced in a blog post.

“In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand the media’s authenticity and to provide additional context.”

Recently, Twitter’s action of labelling BJP leader Sambit Patra’s tweet as ‘manipulated media’ enraged the party. Delhi police on Monday carried out a search operation at the Twitter office for the alleged Covid-19 ‘toolkit’ and sought clarifications from it.

The BJP has accused the Congress of creating a ‘toolkit’ to tarnish Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image and that of the country by calling a new strain of coronavirus as ‘India strain’ or ‘Modi strain.’

The Congress has denied the charges and accused the BJP of propagating a fake ‘toolkit’ to defame it.


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A Delhi police official told the media that it appeared Twitter had some information relevant to the inquiry that was not known to the police. The police team went to Twitter offices in Delhi to serve a notice.

Twitter claims it uses a mix of technology and human expertise to label content. “In order to determine if media have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, we may use our own technology or receive reports through partnerships with third parties,” it said in a blog.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

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