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The Wire Case: Former consultant gave fabricated leads against Meta to publish, portal complains

The Wire Case: Former consultant gave fabricated leads against Meta to publish, portal complains

New Delhi: Independent news portal The Wire has reportedly filed a case against its former consultant Devesh Kumar, who the complaint said used the news portal to publish reports giving false and concocted stories on Meta and the BJP.

It is also reported that the complaint was made through E-mail on Saturday but the police have not registered an FIR so far.

The complaint said that The Wire had published a story on October 6, 2022 based on a concern raised by an Instagram account holder about the abrupt removal of the person's post.

Even though the story didn't have any connection with Devesh Kumar, he tried to influence the reporter and made him believe that Kumar had some information from his friend working with Instagram's Singapore office and offered the same to the reporter, the complaint read.

Kumar introduced a person named Philip Chua as his friend on Instagram and furnished an e-mail on a 'Post Incident Review Report' and named the report after Philip Chua. The Wire published a story based on the report on October 10, only to find later that no person named Philip Chua ever existed and the report was no one but penned down by Kumar himself, the complaint further said.

"It is clear to us that Devesh Kumar has a malintent towards The Wire and its editors and staff and has fabricated and supplied documents, emails and other material such as videos with a view to damaging The Wire and its reputation. He has done so either on his own or at the behest of other unknown persons," the complaint stated.

It was after doubts raised by its readers and experts over the veracity of the reports The Wire had carried against Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, that it announced internal reviews of the Meta coverages.

The Wire claimed that since then it has not only taken down reports on Meta but also stories on Tek Fog — an app alleged to have been used by BJP workers to manipulate social media after the same technical team had been found behind the stories on Tek Fog as did the Meta reports.

The Wire, however, claimed that in its probe it has found Amit Malviya, the head of the BJP's IT Cell, holds special privileges on social media platforms through the controversial XCheck programme.

Taking down the stories it had carried on Meta, The Wire announced "Given the discrepancies that have come to our attention via our review so far, The Wire will also conduct a thorough review of the previous reporting done by the technical team involved in our Meta coverage, and remove the stories from public view till that process is complete."

The complaint The Wire made before the Police further said its former consultant Devesh Kumar had confessed to fabricating reports against the Meta to The Wire's Product and Business Head Mithun Kidambi.

"In the circumstances, we request you to investigate this matter urgently and take action as per law. Please also investigate whether other persons have colluded with Devesh Kumar and add them to the array of witnesses in that case," the complaint said.

The latest case against The Wire comes after BJP's Amit Malviya filed an FIR against it with the Delhi Police on the charge of cheating and forgery and tarnishing his reputation. Malviya also vowed to pursue criminal and civil proceedings against The Wire.

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