Fact-checking has become a rather ideologically motivated and lucrative business for many. Hiding behind the veil of ‘fact-checking’, several websites, especially one called AltNews and its founders like Pratik Sinha, spread Islamic propaganda and have often been caught spreading blatant lies themselves.
Recently, a social media user @BefittingFacts took to Twitter to expose the AltNews co-founder Pratik Sinha for flooding social media platforms with fake and misleading information. The social media user highlighted that Sinha, a self-described ‘fact-checker’, has an inveterate habit of spreading lies and distortions and has been doing so with impunity for the last few years.
The social media user posted a string of tweets exposing Sinha for spreading misinformation and lies. He shared various instances when the so-called ‘fact-checker’ was caught red-handed for disseminating propaganda.
2- Using picture of 2004 to mock Gau Rakshak in 2016. In the picture in 2004 many cows had died to due to Nitrate poisoning but @free_thinker using this pic in 2016 to mock Gau Rakshak.— Facts (@BefittingFacts) November 30, 2020
Archive- https://t.co/1j0QXv0Y7Z pic.twitter.com/mvMqCWmvTO
The Twitter user said that Sinha, a Hindu-hater masquerading as ‘fact-checker’, made a career out of abusing and denigrating PM Modi through dubious portals such as Truth of Gujarat, eopinion and Alt News.
In the aftermath of demonetisation back in 2016, Sinha had shared images of people standing in long queues at financial institutes to allege that people had to go through hardships because of the Modi government’s decision. However, in doing so, Sinha shared a picture from 2014, about two years before the Demonetisation to portray that the decision had caused misery among people.
In another instance shared by the Twitter user, Sinha was caught using an image from 2004 to peddle the condition of cows in Gujarat in 2016. In the year 2016, Sinha shared another picture on his Twitter account where cows were seen lying on the road.
4- @free_thinker shares just headline of article to target PM Modi and his clean Ganga initiative.— Facts (@BefittingFacts) November 30, 2020
But in article NGT was actually praising PM Modi for starting project and was questioning state government(Akhilesh) and others. pic.twitter.com/ayrXkVFvw4
Sinha, in his bid to mock the Gau Rakshaks, commented, “Gau Matas rotting and being scavenged on in Gujarat. Where are the sons professing undying love for their mata?”
The image shared by Sinha was from 2004 when many cows had died because of Nitrate poisoning but Sinha felt no compunction in using a 12-year-old picture to ridicule the Gau Rakshaks.
Sinha also actively participated in perpetuating the lie regarding PM Modi’s alleged promise to transferring Rs 15 lakhs to bank accounts if elected to power.
However, Alt News, which boasts of being a “fact-checking” website, did not publish any article on Sinha’s lies about the purported promise made by PM Modi. Even other left-leaning websites such as BoomLive carried the fact check and declared that the claim of PM Modi promising Rs 15 lakhs in election campaigning was fake. But, Sinha and his portal conveniently skipped fact-checking this one.
Interestingly, this Rs. 15 lakh trope is being spread by Congress and its functionaries for the longest time. In reality, the Prime Minister had never promised that he would transfer Rs. 15 lakh in every citizen’s account. He had also mentioned Rs. 15 lakh as an indication of the quantum of black money stashed abroad.
The fourth instance where Sinha lied to his followers was regarding the clean Ganga initiative launched by PM Modi. Without delving into the details of the article, Sinha shared a screenshot of an article in which NGT said that public money was wasted and not a single drop of Ganga was cleaned.
However, Sinha glossed over the details of the article in which the NGT lauded PM Modi for coming up with the initiative of getting Ganga cleaned and rapped various state governments, including Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh for not following PM’s directives for the cleansing of Ganga.
In another tweet, @BefittingFacts shared one other instance when Pratik Sinha was caught peddling fake news. Quoting a social media user who shared a picture of a sobbing old man, Sinha mocked the late Arun Jaitley for his assertion that there was not a single day when the supply of currency during the days after demonetisation was inadequate.
5- @free_thinker claims that this old man was crying because he did not get money but in real he was in pain because a woman had stepped on his leg. Old man also said that apart from this he didnt face much problem. pic.twitter.com/SqmZ8M956a— Facts (@BefittingFacts) November 30, 2020
As it turns out, the man in the question was not crying because of the misery of standing in the queue but he was crying because when he was waiting outside the bank when someone pushed him, a woman stepped on his foot. Additionally, the man even claimed that apart from this he didn’t face much problem during the demonetisation.
This is, by no measure, an exhaustive list of instances when Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha was caught peddling misinformation and fake news. There have been umpteen incidents when Sinha had enthusiastically shared unsubstantiated and unverified news, just because the narrative suited his political leanings.
Pratik Sinha spreads fake news while attempting to ‘fact-check’ old picture of a Hindu Sadhu
Recently, Sinha was caught spreading fake news while attempting to ‘fact-check’ old picture of a Hindu Sadhu. On November 23, Sinha posted a tweet alleging that an image posted by popular Twitter user ‘TrueIndology’ on his Instagram account was fake. It appears from the tweet that Sinha reverse-searched the image and found the source as Getty Images, a stock image platform.
According to Pratik Sinha, the image source, which, according to him, was Getty Images, did not mention ‘snow’ anywhere in the post. However, the image was first used in a book titled “Kashmir: It’s New Silk Industry” by Sir Thomas Wardle, and it was published in 1904. In the book, on page 376, the title of the image reads, “Fakir or Holy Man on Lunka Island, Dal lake, sitting in the snow in winter.” The photograph was clicked by Geoffrey William Millais.
There have been other instances too when Sinha has purveyed lies and refused to formally acknowledge his mistake when caught for the same. However, Pratik is not the only one who is been lying through his teeth at AltNews. It seems like the leftist online rag AltNews is a lying factory, whose founders have an inveterate habit of spreading lies and misinformation.
AltNews co-founder Mohammad Zubair, booked under POCSO, unapologetically shares lies and disinformation
Another Alt News co-founder, Mohammad Zubair, has been similarly caught numerous times for spreading propaganda and lies under the pretext of carrying out ‘fact-checks’. In May 2020, Zubair shared an unverified report exonerating the Tablighi Jamaat members from their involvement in spreading the coronavirus outbreak. The report was thoroughly refuted by Delhi Police later on.
Zubair’s ran a parody page of Subramanian Swamy on Facebook to befool his followers with lies and distortions. The page was called ‘Sususwamy’. The ‘fact-checker’ has often lied through this particular page to further his agenda. Among the more prominent ones was the lie about BS Yeddyurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka. Zubair had claimed that the veteran BJP leader had celebrated Tipu Sultan in the past and misled his audience using an image from a completely unrelated event to bolster his claim.
Then, there was the occasion on which Zubair shared a cropped video and claimed that some members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of Gonda, Uttar Pradesh had raised anti-national slogans during a protest rally against Pakistan in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. He urged his followers to share the video far and wide so that his political agenda would be fulfilled. Ultimately, the Gonda Police had to come forward and issue a statement clarifying that such slogans were never raised and asserted that the video was being used for ‘corrupt’ purposes.
Zubair had also shared a video in which he claimed that the Mayor of Surat was defying lockdown norms when he was prostrating before a Jain monk. In reality, the video was from a charity event and the Mayor was only performing an act of ritualistic obeisance as is the norm within the Jain community. This is not all. Zubair has gone to the extent of shielding the Islamic terrorists responsible for the brutal massacre in Sri Lanka last year.
Social Media user @iAnkurSingh meticulously cited 25 instances when Mohammed Zubair was caught of playing dangerous games of spreading misinformation and many times deleting those tweets once they go viral without quite issuing a clarification. That way, many a time, the screenshots of fake or misleading news went viral but the fact that he deleted the same after being called out for his lies does not. This was his typical modus operandi while sharing unverified stuff through his parody account of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
Mohammed Zubair charged under POCSO for doxxing the identity of a minor girl and harassing her
Most recently, an FIR was filed against Zubair in connection with a case where a minor girl child was threatened and tortured by AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair on Twitter. On August 7, Zubair indulged in an online spat with a Twitter user Jagdish Singh. The AltNews co-founder targetted a minor girl in his Twitter fight with this social media user. Instead of replying to the user directly, Zubair had brazenly referred to a minor girl seen in the profile picture of the user Jagdish Singh, presumably his granddaughter.
After Zubair had highlighted the minor girl seen in the photo, Islamists had started to issue rape threats to the girl. Zubair’s tweet came under heavy criticism from social media users who accused him of shamelessly using a child to get back at a critic. However, the leftist online rag Alt News came out in his support and stood by him claiming the complaint against him for targeting a minor girl in a Twitter fight was ‘misuse of legal apparatus’.
Propaganda website AltNews has been largely peddled as an authentic source of fact-checks by the entire Left cabal. Their articles are peddled by any anti-government, anti-Hindu riffraff that the ecosystem has to offer and they often claim that their method is rather elaborate and authentic. With patrons like Arundhati Roy, who regularly speaks in a language that can only be called one that resonates with Naxals and every element that wishes to tear India apart, AltNews has gained a reputation amongst right-thinking individuals as a mouthpiece of Islamists. The so-called fact-checking website regularly furthers fake news, obfuscates the truth, concocts details to shield Islamists and sometimes, even creates fake news simply to fact check it later.
Further, AltNews uses some standard tools to further their propaganda which invariably goes against the interests of the country. They peddle downright lies, muddle the waters, deliberately mislead, whitewash crimes and doxx anybody who tries to expose their methods.