IndiaSpend’s faulty FactChecker.in, which is known for having a track record of manipulating facts to suit their preconceived notions and agenda has finally decided to shut their propaganda shop ‘Hate Crime Watch’ after being exposed several times for Hinduphobia and bias.
Faulty FactChecker.in, in a series of tweets on Thursday, announced that they are ‘moving’ their propaganda machinery ‘to a new home’ and effective and immediately ending their association with it. They claimed that they had identified a ‘gnawing gap in crime reporting’.
#HateCrimeWatch is moving to a new home. With this, we effectively and immediately end our association with this crucial tool. The https://t.co/SnfoppmgHJ team had identified a gnawing gap in crime reporting and basis this lacunae we conceptualised #HateCrimeWatch.
— FactChecker.in (@FactCheckIndia) September 11, 2019
The Factchecker.in further added that they are shutting down their fake propaganda initiative ‘Hate Crime Watch’ as it has outgrown its purpose and merits its own standing. It is unclear what it means by ‘moving to a new home’ which essentially would mean rebirth but the Twitter thread read more like an obituary of a dead propaganda which did not meet the goals it set out to achieve.
With their bigoted agenda and dubious track record, the IndiaSpend Factchecker.in had all along attempted to push Hinduphobic propaganda by selectively reporting crimes in which accused were allegedly Hindus and referred to it as a ‘Hate crime’ while deliberately ignoring those crimes committed in which perpetrators were Muslims and the victims were Hindus.
The ‘Hate Crime Watch’ initiative of the Factchecker.in, which began as a supposed tracking tool of hate crimes across the country, soon began to manifest its true colours by not only limiting its reporting to Hinduphobic content but also whitewashing crimes committed by Muslims against the Hindus. In fact, there have been instances where IndiaSpend’s ‘factchecker’ journalist was caught trying to manipulate a minor Dalit victim from Begusarai who, along with his family, was attacked by local Muslim goons, trying to force them to sell their home to prove that there was no ‘hate crime’.
The ‘Hate Crime Watch’ had gone to the extent of giving a clean chit to Islamic terrorist who was responsible for the Pulwama terror attack. According to the Factchecker.in, the terrorist attack in the Pulwama is not a hate crime as they claim that according to their definition of hate crime, the religious identity of the victim and not the perpetrator forms the basis to add it in their database. As in Pulwama, the terrorist blew up CRPF personnel because of their identity as an Indian, it did not fall within the scope of their definition.
In an attempt to justify their statement of not treating a terror attack – where the terrorist himself declared that it was a religious war against infidels – as a religious hate crime, FactChecker compared the terrorist attack with alleged attacks on Kashmiris in some parts of India after the Pulwama terror attack. They claimed that they have not included such attacks either as ‘hate crime’ as it doesn’t fit into their ‘motivated by religious identity’ criteria, because such attacks appear motivated by regional identities of the victims, not religious.
Swati Goel Sharma, a journalist associated with Swarajya Magazine, too, has relentlessly busted the intended narrative on several occasions. There have been occasions when fact-checker has deliberately twisted the facts of the matter to increase the number of Muslim victims in its database by including cases where the victim and the perpetrator both belonged to the Muslim community.
A conflict of interest had also existed as Praveen Chakravarty, the data analyst head of the Congress party was the founding trustee of IndiaSpend, the faulty database website which housed the dubious ‘hate tracker’. This also questioned the so-called credibility of IndiaSpend. A possibility cannot be ruled out that to ‘appear’ unbiased and neutral, IndiaSpend may come up with another ‘neutral-sounding’ fact-checking machinery to further their Hinduphobic propaganda.
IndiaSpend’s ‘hate tracker’ is not the first to shut shop after being relentlessly called out on their propaganda. We had earlier reported how Hindustan Times had also launched a biased ‘hate tracker’ which had similar biased reporting and factual flaws. However, Hindustan Times also had to shut their propaganda machinery because social media had exposed their glaring bias.