BJP’s National Information & Technology Department in-charge Amit Malviya has decided to file civil and criminal proceedings against the news website The Wire on Thursday over forged documents to malign his image.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s National Information & Technology Department in-charge Amit Malviya has decided to file civil and criminal proceedings against the news website The Wire on Thursday over forged documents to malign his image.
In addition, Malviya, who has been in the crosshairs of the news website in recent times, also seeks damages in a civil court for allegedly forging documents to malign and tarnish his reputation.
This came hours after the news portal issued an apology to its readers a week after retracting its controversial Meta stories.
“After consultation with my lawyers and seeking their advice, I have decided to file criminal and civil proceedings against ‘The Wire.’ Not only will I be setting the criminal process in motion but I will also sue them in a civil court seeking damages as they forged documents with a view to malign and tarnish my reputation,” Amit Malviya said in a statement on Thursday.
Online news portal The Wire on Wednesday apologised for indulging in fake news against the Narendra Modi government, admitting that its reportage on tech giant Meta involving Malviya was incorrect.
In a statement, the media outlet said that it published a series of reports claiming that Malviya had certain privileges to take down Instagram posts without getting technical evidence verified by independent experts.
Stating that an internal review is underway, the news website said: “The Wire acknowledges that the internal editorial processes which preceded the publication of these stories did not meet the standards that The Wire sets for itself and its readers expect from it.”
“To have rushed to publish a story we believed was reliable without having the associated technical evidence vetted independently is a failure of which we cannot permit repetition.”
Listing out some “clear editorial learning”, The Wire said, “Complex technical evidence – whether brought by someone who is part of the newsroom or a freelancer – and all verification processes that involve technical skill, must be cross-checked by independent and reputed experts in the field. Had we done this before publication rather than after the fact, this would have ensured that the deception to which we were subjected by a member of our Meta investigation team was spotted in time.”
The statement further stated that the editorial team of The Wire “takes moral responsibility for the omission”, while admitting that its investigative reporting did not pass through multiple layers of editors.
“This combination of not fully grasping the complexities of technology and a slippage in the editorial assessment of tech-related matters resulted in the publication of stories which did not eventually hold up. For this, we owe an apology to our readers.”
Earlier this month, The Wire reports claimed that Malviya had the control to delete any post on Instagram that was critical of the BJP and its leadership. It insinuated that the removal of a post mocking Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath was a result of the BJP leader flagging it.
A satirical account posted an Instagram video of a man performing an aarti to Yogi Adityanath’s statue at the temple he built for the UP CM in Ayodhya. It was removed by Instagram, citing a violation of its nudity norms.
Mark Zuckerberg-owned Meta had rejected the reports, saying that they were based on “fabricated documents”. Numerous experts have also questioned the validity of the reports.