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‘EU DisinfoLab’s consistent attacks suggest an agenda and someone else’s talking points’: ANI trashes European NGO’s report

ANI also lambasted the EU DisinfoLab for suggesting that the veil of anonymity in hostile regions such as Balochistan and Xinjiang—places where dissidents could lose their lives for speaking up against state-sponsored atrocities—should be broken and generalising the peculiarities of reporting from Pakistan and China to all of ANI's reporting.

Indian news agency ANI on Friday rubbished the allegations levelled against it by the Brussels-based EU DisinfoLab, stating that the consistent attacks by the European NGO hinted at agenda and someone else’s talking point.

In a detailed statement issued by ANI, the news agency raised questions about the EU DisinfoLab report and denied in totality the allegations against them.

“This ‘report’ was expected as such ‘NGOs’ routinely target ANI when election season appears in India. We have seen the same allegations being repeated in 2019, 2020 and now 2023. I would like to pose some questions to the NGO and the actors funding this NGO…” the statement shared by ANI chief Smita Prakash read.

Rubbishing EU DisinfoLab’s assertion that ANI quotes ‘Bad Sources’, ANI dared the European NGO to send its reporters to strife-torn regions such as Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, Balochistan, Sindh, Tibet, and other regions in Pakistan and China to present a counter view of the ‘picture perfect democracy’ that EU DisinfoLab professes to claim.

The news agency also questioned the EU DisinfoLab’s report on casting aspersions on the OSINT-based reports published by ANI.

“If OSINT coverage is now discredited, how would you report the current Russia-Ukraine war? It appears information from Russia on the Kremlin is entirely based on information from dissidents and authors with assumed identities…therefore, going by the EU Disinfo’s logic, do we consider all those reports fake?” the ANI statement asked.

Speaking about the bona fides of the sources quoted by the news agency, ANI statement said, “We track social media handles and blogs for years in areas where we or other news agencies have limited or no presence at all, and we built up our confidence in their reportage through corroborating what these anonymous and other handles have said, to what becomes publicly available later. As you know in an age of citizen journalism, where reporting in these zones is prone to extreme retribution, we have found their reporting to be accurate.”

“It is curious therefore that the EU DisinfoLab report mentions some of these individuals but avoids comment on what they said or indeed if what was said was accurate or not,” the ANI statement further read.

ANI also lambasted the EU DisinfoLab for suggesting that the veil of anonymity in hostile regions such as Balochistan and Xinjiang—places where dissidents could lose their lives for speaking up against state-sponsored atrocities—should be broken and generalising the peculiarities of reporting from Pakistan and China to all of ANI’s reporting.

The statement also cited reports published by Reuters and BBC, which likewise use similar anonymous sources and cite analysis from popular but anonymous OSINT Twitter user DETRESFA.

One of the reports published by Reuters cited anonymous OSINT experts to report on filtration locations run by Russia. ANI said it used the exact same process to establish the reporting credibility of such OSINT experts, but the EU Disinfo Lab’s motivated attack against the news agency hints at a baiting tactic aimed at doxxing the anonymous sources than checking the veracity of the reportage.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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