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International Fact-Checking Network says its Indian signatory Alt News may have potentially violated IFCN Code of Principles

IFCN will take further action after further communications with AltNews

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has said that self‑proclaimed fact‑checking site in India Alt News may have potentially violated a clause of IFCN code. Alt News is a verified signatory of IFCN, which is a global network of organisations dedicated to combatting fake news on mass media and social media.

The clause the Alt News has potentially violated is related to the nonpartisanship policy of the organisation. On June 7th, a Twitter user with the account name @attomeybharti brought to the notice of the IFCN that co-founder of Alt News, Pratik Sinha is openly violating the neutrality clause. In his Twitter bio, Pratik Sinha has mentioned that he is a member of Jan Sangharsh Manch. This is a civil rights organisation founded by Pratik Sinha’s father Mukul Sinha.

It was also pointed out that Jan Sangharsh Manch has organised political events, and it is associated with the political party named the New Socialist Movement. The Manch is also has a known stand against the ruling party in India.

The nonpartisanship policy of IFCN states that its members should not have direct involvement in any political parties and advocacy organisations. It also says that the organisation must not support a candidate in any election, and it should not advocate or take policy positions on any issues which is strictly not related to fact-checking.

Nonpartisanship clause of IFCN code


The organisation should also the system it has put in place to prevent its employees from any such direct involvement with political and advocacy organisations. As Jan Sangharsh Manch is an advocacy group with a certain political ideology, it is evident that the co-founder of AltNews himself may be violating the rules of IFCN.

Pratik Sinha’s Twitter bio

The original tweet posted by IFCN didn’t mention Alt News by name, and just mentioned that one of their verified signatories in India is under the scanner. But later they replied to the tweet of @attomeybharti raising the matter with a link to their original tweet, thus confirming that they were talking about AltNews.

It will be interesting to know what step IFCN takes in this regard after their communication with Alt News. It may be noted that they are investigating the so-called fact checker on the matter of nonpartisanship, while the fact is that AltNews itself has been caught spreading fake news a number of times. Just yesterday they had claimed that the 3-year girl brutally killed by two Muslim men in Aligarh was not raped, but a day after their claim, the POCSO was applied in the case, indicating probable sexual assault in the case. They had also lied that girl’s eyes were not gouged out and one arm was not amputated, but the postmortem report clearly states both these assaults did happen with the girl. There is a long list of fake news peddled by this so-called fake news buster.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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