The Hindustan Times on Monday issued a clarification after terming a journalist as a “troll” after he questioned Sushma Swaraj and her handling of the Lucknow passport issue.
As reported by us a few days back, a Hindustan Times report had described prominent columnists like Shefali Vaidya and mainstream journalist Manak Gupta as “trolls”, following Swaraj’s decision to like their tweets which questioned her handling of the matter:
Incidentally following this episode, we had explored the left’s modus oprendi of stifling any form of dissenting voices, by sending a message that – “if you are not on our side, you are a troll”.
Since then, the stance of Hindustan Times seems to have mellowed down and it has issued a clarification about the views it expressed about Manak Gupta:
As seen in the clarification, the paper states that its data analysis highlighted tweets liked by Sushma Swaraj which “trolled” her. The clarification then acknowledges the failure on their part to acknowledge that Swaraj had subsequently unliked some of the non-abusive tweets, including those posted by Manak Gupta. The paper also claimed that they had not editorially filtered the tweets picked for their analysis.
Besides issuing a clarification, Hindustan Times also gave space to Manak Gupta for writing a counter view.
This might not be the end of the matter for Hindustan Times, as Shefali Vaidya who has been similarly termed as a troll, took note of the clarification and demanded that a similar action be performed in her case:
Dear @htTweets print a clarification like this in my case, publish my response as well or be prepared for legal action. Just like @manakgupta, @SushmaSwaraj had subsequently unliked my tweets as well when she realised her mistake. https://t.co/FoW0sXyKRI
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) July 2, 2018
As seen above, Shefali threatened Hindustan Times with legal action if the newspaper fails to publish her response and print a clarification. It remains to be seen whether the newspaper takes note of the matter and also sends a personal clarification to her and all the others whom it had “defamed” via its analysis.