A Meta Scandal

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A prominent Indian publication is investigating its own reporting after publishing a series of dubious articles alleging that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, was colluding with the government and involved in political censorship in India, the Washington Post reported.

The issue began when the independent outlet, The Wire, published reports alleging that the US-based tech firm had given an influential official from India’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the power to censor Instagram posts that he didn’t like and were critical of the government.

The publication said the allegations stemmed from a document leaked by a Meta insider. It later published an article alleging that the company’s executives were looking for the mole.

Meta denied the allegations and accused The Wire of fabricating evidence, prompting the outlet to counter the accusations. However, tech analysts from both countries discovered a number of inconsistencies in videos and emails that the outlet had presented as proof of the allegations.

On Tuesday, technical specialist Kanishk Karan denied that he served as a consultant in one of the stories.

Afterward, the Wire launched an investigation into its own reporting, with observers noting that the recent events have damaged the credibility “of an independent and trusted news platform that India needs today.”

The saga has important significance in India where Meta has been accused of turning a blind eye to hate speech made by Hindu nationalists against other religious communities in the country.

In 2020, a top Meta executive in India resigned after the Wall Street Journal reported that she had advised her workers not to enforce hate-speech laws against Hindu nationalists associated with the BJP.

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