Editorial Consultant of Congress mouthpiece National Herald, Sanjukta Basu, on Wednesday criticised so-called independent fact-checkers who regularly fact-check memes after a meme with her picture on it was fact-checked.
In a tweet, she expressed disappointment that ‘independent’ fact-checkers, like Boom and Congress-friendly fact-checkers like Alt News did not bother to fact-check her tweet on Mayawati which had gone viral where in she appeared to be mocking Mayawati.
Her disappointment came after Jagran Publication’s fact-checking portal Vishvas news fact-checked a meme which contained her image.
Vishvas News had ‘fact-checked’ a meme which showed Basu with a glass of wine and food in front of her with a caption that read ‘Meet the JNU’s poor student who has taken subsidy’.
As part of its investigation, Vishvas News said that they reverse-image searched Basu and found her Twitter account which is verified by Twitter. They then shared another image of Basu juxtaposed with the viral image to show that the two images are indeed of same person, i.e. Sanjukta Basu.
Vishvas News then said that they confirmed with Basu that she is not a student studying in JNU. They said that while Basu has claimed she is pursuing PhD on ‘Women’s political space’, she has not mentioned which university she is studying it from.
Soon after a meme containing her picture was fact-checked, many people from the Congress-left ecosystem came out in support of Sanjukta and found fault with propaganda outlets like Alt News, which otherwise have helped Congress party through their ‘fact-checks’.
Although a quick check of ‘Proudcommunist’s Twitter profile suggested that it could be a meme account itself and not really a ‘proud communist’ as the name proclaims, in today’s day and age of wokeness, one can never be too sure what is parody and what is real.
However, even though Sanjukta thought that the fact-check by the website run by Jagran group would cause an end to her featuring in memes, looks like it has given rise to another meme, which might require another fact-check.
Netizens are now wondering where Basu is now doing her ‘Women’s Political Space’ PhD from.
However, Basu, after this meme containing her image and incorrect claim of her being poor student on subsidy studying at JNU was fact-checked, she addressed her grievances with other ‘friendly’ fact-checkers which did not pay heed to her previous request to ‘fact-check’ claims on her.
Basu’s tweets on Mayawati drew ire
In May this year, Basu’s earlier tweets from over a decade ago had gone viral where she appeared to be making fun of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.
In a June 2009 tweet, Basu had tweeted that Mayawati may be single as no ‘elephant is ready to screw her’. In May, many Twitter activists who tweet on ‘Pro-Dalit’ causes, had discovered old tweets of various celebrities mocking Mayawati and threatened them with legal action. Basu was one such celebrities whose tweet made rounds. However, she claimed her tweet was sarcastic on the trending hashtag.
Basu alleged that Boom and Alt News did not fact-check tweets against her on Mayawati tweets because the ones attacking her were ‘left liberal Dalit activists’ whom these ‘friendly fact-checkers’ could not call out. She showed that while Boom at least responded, Alt News ignored her plea.
This is not the first time she has reached out to ‘fact-checkers’ who have not helped her out with fact-checking inconvenient fact-checks.
RW trolls outraged that Halal certification means that company cannot keep Hindu employee. If this is true, I would be outraged too. But AFAIK it's not true. Can somebody please confirm or deny this? I asked @AltNews @zoo_bear @free_thinker already, no response. @TheMuslimsofIN?— Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) May 11, 2020
In May 2020, Basu was flummoxed when she found out that the entire process of Halal slaughter must ensure that only a person belonging to Islam faith can carry it out. That for meat to be ‘halal’, entire process from slaughter to packing must include only a Muslim person.
For example, the guidelines for preparing Halal certified meat make it abundantly clear that only Muslim employees are allowed to participate in the entire process at every stage from slaughtering to packaging, and if any non-Muslim is involved in the process, the product becomes Haram, or not allowed as per Islam.
But of course, ‘fact-checkers’ did not ‘fact-check’ it even back then.