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India Today’s ‘Anti Fake News War Room’ goes to war against a watermarked meme, again

Recently, even Lallantop, Hindi news and opinion website owned by the India Today group, which asserts to be a fake-news buster, had fact-checked a 9-month-old satirical article and passed off the claim as ‘authentic’

India Today has started an initiative called the AFWA (Anti Fake News War Room) where they try their hand at ‘fact-checking’. However, fact-checking is serious business and not everybody, least of all mainstream media generally has the tenacity to fact-check news that truly matters. Now, India Today’s ‘War Room’ has turned itself into a joke by fact-checking a meme that was watermarked by a photoshop artist.

The so-called ‘fact-check’ was shared on Twitter by Rahul Kanwal, who is the Director of India Today and Aaj Tak and in his bio, calls himself a ‘fake news slayer’.

On one side, as can be seen, India Today calls an image where former President of the United States of America can be seen watching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony as ‘fake news’. India Today then ‘fact-checks’ that image in an adjacent image and says that the photo is morphed since the original image is from 2014 where Obama was watching a FIFA World Cup match between Germany and US.

However, there is a catch.

The image that India Today has supposedly ‘fact-checked’ already bears the watermark of a well-known photoshop artist, Atheist_Krishna.

“Fact-check” by India Today

if one sees at the bottom corner of the image, the watermark of Atheist_Krishna has been encircled in red.

Atheist_Krishna had made a bunch of such memes during the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One of them was Obama watching the ceremony, that India Today fact-checked.

In fact, Atheist_Krishna had also made a meme where the current President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, was shown watching PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

Atheist_Krishna is the very photoshop artist whose work was shown by actor Akshay Kumar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an informal interview that the former conducted of the Prime Minister in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.

Read Also: Meet the Photoshop artist whose work Akshay Kumar showed to Prime Minister Modi

Fact-checking is generally considered to be serious business. There are several claims, half-truths, misinterpretations and false narratives that need to be fact-checked so people can get full information regarding a certain event or statement. However, after self-proclaimed fact-checkers have been caught spreading fake news, using ‘fact-checking’ as a tool for doxxing and have selectively “fact-checked” news only to spread more fake news because it did not suit their agenda, the ‘fact-checking’ of memes hardly comes as a surprise anymore.

India Today had earlier too “fact-checked” a meme video that showed Wing Commander Abhinandan’s return being celebrated by several people in the United Kingdom.

Interestingly, the same template which was used by Atheist_Krishna earlier to create a meme of “BJP supporters watching Exit Polls 2019” (that gave a thumping majority to the PM Modi led BJP) was also ‘fact-checked’ by India Today’s fake-news war room.

That “fact-check” was also shared by Rahul Kanwal.

This “fact-check” too had a prominent watermark of the photoshop artist Atheist_Krishna.

‘Fact-check’ by India Today

Lallantop, Hindi news and opinion website owned by the India Today group, which asserts to be a fake-news buster, recently fact-checked a 9-month-old satirical article and passed off the claim as ‘authentic’. The sarcastic article was first posted on Fauxy website, a satire site, in September 2018 wherein the author took a humorous dig at the abundance of food bloggers that seek free meals from restaurants in return for rave reviews.

Times of India, which is also trying its hand at ‘fact-checking’ earlier ‘fact-checked’ memes and jokes to astutely inform their readers that Chris Gayle, aka Krishna Goyal, was not ‘campaigning for BJP’.

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