Amit Malviya was checked for a misleading video about police violence in Delhi.
On Wednesday, Twitter labeled “manipulated media” in a video that the head of the social media department of India’s ruling party Bharatiya Janata he tweeted. Labeling tweets is not new: since March, Twitter has been making them inaccurate tweets of American politicians, including President Donald Trump.
But it was the first time the company had tagged a tweet from a prominent Indian politician, who noted that it could finally be prepared to do what critics I’ve been asking American social media platforms to do for years – apply the same standards to the rest of the world as they do in the US.
The three-second clip was tweeted by Amit Malviya notori to publish misinformation as part of his party’s propaganda machine. A member of the Delhi police is shown beating a peasant, one of thousands of people facing tear gas, water cannons and police barricades. to protest new agricultural policies in India.
The police officer in the clip is missing. According to the video’s title, “the police didn’t even touch the farmer.” Malviya’s tweet left the false impression that the police had not injured the man.
But other police members attacked the man just after cutting the video clip. Data verification websites dit a longer version of the video shows a second police officer who turned to the farmer, who later showed his wounds to the press.
Twitter also applies tag other instances of the same video that other people tweeted.
Malviya did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News, but a Twitter spokesman said he had run the company’s policies against doctoral media.
“The tweet referred to was labeled according to our synthetic and manipulated media policy,” a Twitter spokesman told BuzzFeed News. By clicking on the tag, people are directed to a Twitter author summary of debunks for data verifiers and links to these debunks.
Politics, that Twitter announced in february defines “Synthetic and manipulated media” such as images or videos that have been “significantly modified or created in a way that changes the original meaning / purpose, or that appears to be certain events that did not actually occur.” The company first applied the label in March of a misleading edited video of now-elected president Joe Biden shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino and retweeted by the president of the United States, and has since applied it to several Trump tweets.
But while the Twitter spokesman said the policy was being “applied worldwide,” the company declined to cite other cases that applied that label to accounts in non-Western markets. (In the past, Twitter has removed or hidden tweets from the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and Brazilian politician Osmar Terra for having broken his policy against it coronavirus misinformation.)
Digital rights activists have long said American technology companies have not done enough to prevent damage to their platforms outside the United States and Europe. Platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube have been accused not only of polarizing political discourse, but also of feeding them. ethnic massacres in South Sudan, lynchings in India i genocide in Myanmar.
“When it comes to labeling misinformation and manipulated content, companies are starting to take more action, but they still have to do better outside the United States,” said Dia Kayyali, associate director of defense at Mnemonic, an organization of human rights. “We saw them pour huge resources into the United States and act with more content than anyone could have imagined. Unfortunately, so far they have not dedicated so many resources outside the US.
In India, experts say Twitter was forced to tag Malviya’s tweet after being constantly called out by the press, data verifiers and people on social media. “It’s the result of sustained criticism for years,” Pratik Sinha, the editor of Alt News, an Indian data verification website, told BuzzFeed News. But, he said, “this is a first step. It’s too early to be happy. “
It’s also too early to see what results the label might have. Tagging a tweet from a prominent member of India’s ruling party could provoke backlash against a country that Twitter considers a key growth market.
BJP politicians have accused Twitter of having “bias“Against the Conservatives. Last year, Colin Cromwell, Twitter’s vice president of global public policy, posted one blog post titled “Setting the Record on Twitter in India and Impartiality”. Three days later, an Indian parliamentary committee a la brasa the Indian executives of the company about the alleged bias of the company.
The label is also significant because the video that posted a Twitter message from Malviya was a response to a tweet from Rahul Gandhi, an opposition leader who belonged to the National Congress of India, the oldest political party of the country and a rival of the BJP. they are wrong.
Twitter declined to provide details on why it decided to tag Malviya’s tweet in particular. “In order to determine whether the media has been altered or fabricated in a meaningful and misleading manner, we may use our own technology or receive reports through alliances with third parties,” a Twitter spokesman said.
“BJP members,” Kayyali said, “can’t say what they want just because they’re politicians.”