There is a sense of discontent amongst the Left-Liberal ecosystem after Indian National Congress scion Rahul Gandhi decided to unfollow eight accounts yesterday. Amongst the eight unfollowed accounts was Alt News – an extended arm of INC’s ecosystem which masquerades as a “fact-checker” and is known for its uncanny ability to turn stones into wallets. Kunal Kamra, who suffers from obsessive hatred for PM Modi, also suffered heartbreak as his master decided he was not worthy of a follow anymore. However, there is more than it meets the eye as Rahul Gandhi’s decision to unfollow his favourite fact-checker Alt News, came after Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s stern message to the fact-checkers as the government turns the screws on Twitter.
It will certainly be demoralising for the ones who spend their days and nights worshipping their master, only for him to unfollow them on Twitter. Alt News did the Congress ecosystem proud by conducting a shoddy fact check of the leaked alleged Congress toolkit which had put the grand old party on the back foot. The fact check done by Alt News had everything in it, except the fact as it delivered its verdict that the toolkit is fake. The shoddy job was a subject of ridicule for the rest of the country, however was enough for the INC to hit back at the BJP. It seems that Alt News’ unwavering loyalty was not rewarded properly as Rahul Gandhi chose to unfollow the outlet on Twitter.
It is pertinent to note that the founder of Alt News, Pratik Sinha, had earlier in 2014 proclaimed Rahul Gandhi as “dumb” in one of his tweets.
Rahul Gandhi’s decision to unfollow eight accounts that do his bidding day-in and day-out came after Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad’s no-nonsense approach against the fact-checkers. He said, “Social media companies already have appointed fact checkers. Who are these fact-checkers and how are they appointed? There are some fact-checkers whose main agenda is drive hatred against Modi.”
Social media companies already have appointed fact checkers. Who are these fact-checkers and how are they appointed? There are some fact-checkers whose main agenda is drive hatred against Modi. pic.twitter.com/NGDPucI8ea
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) May 29, 2021
Prasad was perhaps referring to Alt News, which is considered as a bonafide fact-checker by Twitter with the platform based on Alt News’ shoddy fact-check, decided to add the tag of “Manipulated Media” against a section of the BJP leaders who tweeted about the alleged Congress toolkit with the investigative agencies still investigating the case.
It can also be seen as an attempt by Rahul Gandhi to distance himself and the Congress party from Alt News to help it appear ‘neutral’ and ‘independent’ as both Alt News and Twitter will be vital cogs in the INC’s campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.