The Wire, in its pursuit to prove that BJP is imposing internet censorship along with big tech, seems to have tied itself in knots.
The latest revelation in the saga can potentially bury the story for good.
Here's some context.
On 10 October, The Wire published a report alleging that the BJP’s National Information and Technology Department Head, Amit Malviya enjoys special privileges with respect to Instagram.
The underlying implication here, of course, is that the BJP government is hand in glove with big tech and is unleashing unprecedented censorship on Indian citizens.
Andy Stone from Communications at Meta dismissed The Wire story on Twitter. He went on to claim that the screenshots shared by The Wire appear to be fabricated.
To defend itself, The Wire posted a screenshot claiming they had accessed an internal mail that Stone had purportedly sent to his team. In the image shared, the ‘sender’ is seen asking how an internal Instagram report got leaked.
The story snowballed into a major controversy for The Wire after Meta made damning allegations in response. As per Meta’s statement, both email ids visible in the screenshot are fake.
The Wire rebuts Meta’s claims and asserts that both the mail and the 10 October report are genuine.
In the latest update in the story, Pranesh Prakash, who runs the handle @pranesh on Twitter has claimed that one of the experts who is supposed to have verified The Wire's verification process of Andy Stone's email id, has said that he never undertook any such task for The Wire.
Prakash says in his tweet that the identity of this expert was shared with him by Wire editor, Siddharth Varadarajan himself.
Additionally, Prakash also claimed that another expert who The Wire referred to in its article of 15 October has asked for all references to him to be deleted.
The Wire purportedly runs a DKIM verification and says that Andy Stone's email id, as shown in its article, is genuine.
It attaches screenshots of two domain experts who apparently verified The Wire's process.
Today, however, one of the experts has virtually dissociated himself from the story and the other has apparently claimed that he is not associated with the story at all.
Read Swarajya's detailed report here.
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