A screenshot of a Twitter exchange between senior journalist Barkha Dutt and union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is viral across social media channels. The screenshot first shows an alleged tweet by Dutt where she says, “BJP is anti-Muslim. They have not done anything for Muslims This is my view who do you think? Drop your views below.” It then shows Naqvi’s alleged reply where he jots down pro-Muslim initiatives undertaken by the BJP.
The screenshot is viral on Facebook and Twitter alike. A Twitter user @Lorrykaran who describes himself as the media cell district secretary of BJP Thoothukdi was among those who shared the screenshot.
அல்லா ஆசீர்வதிப்பார் !! 😂 👌 தரமான செருப்படி !!! pic.twitter.com/8qEn4mGcWR
— K K R G (@Lorrykaran) April 16, 2019
Several people believed the Twitter exchange to be true.
— Dr Deepak Megeri #NaMo (@DeepakMegeri) April 16, 2019
There are several clues which indicate that the Twitter exchange was manufactured.
1. The length of Naqvi’s alleged reply
Twitter has a character count limit of 280 and the reply ascribed to the union minority affairs minister has visibly crossed the limit.
2. No active exchange between the duo found on Twitter
There are no active replies by Naqvi to Barkha Dutt. This can be found simply by looking if the union minister has ever tagged Dutt on any tweets. There were none to be found.
Barkha Dutt calls out the misinformation
After numerous Twitter users shared the screenshot and tagged the journalist, she replied by calling out the fake news.
Stop sharing fake news and photo shopped images
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) April 16, 2019
Barkha Dutt has often found herself in the crosshairs of misinformation. However, such blatant cases of fake news can be debunked with simple self-verification.
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