The document of the Bureau of Police Research and Development was taken down reportedly after much furore from right-wing Twitter over the inclusion of some fact-checkers.
The Bureau of Police Research and Development under the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday released a step-by-step document for authorities to counter the rise of fake news and videos that may incite hatred or communal violence. The document also listed verified fact-checking websites that could be used as resources to debunk fake news. The list included outlets like pib.gov.in, thehindu.com, India Today‚Äôs online fact-checker as well as independent fact-checking websites like Boom Live and Alt News. However, a day later, the document was deleted.
‚ÄúDigital news has brought back and increased the usage of fake news or yellow journalism. Fake news is written and published usually to mislead with the intent to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership. In this scenario, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) should adopt the latest cyber investigation methods and procedures for curbing and prosecuting the sources of fake news and disinformation,‚ÄĚ the report had said.
The report had also mentioned the audio of the Tablighi Jamaat chief in its discussion on fake audio. The Indian Express had reported that an investigation by the Delhi police into the purported audio clip of Maulana Saad, that claimed to ask Tablighi Jamaat members not to follow social distancing, was doctored and stitched together. The Delhi police had said that the report was factually incorrect and summoned an Indian Express reporter for the same.
The report also suggested websites like https://en.savefrom.net/10/, www.imgops.com, https://citizenevidence.
However, a day later, the document was taken down, reportedly after much furore by right-wing Twitter over the inclusion of certain outlets, in particular, Alt News. The Hindu reported that a senior BPRD official stated that the document had to be deleted from its website as there were some technical errors and the document will be published again with corrections soon.