Meta-Wire row: Varadarajan Called Out For Throwing Staffer Devesh Kumar Under Bus

| Updated: 30 October, 2022 12:54 pm IST

The Wire has filed a police complaint against their “tech-expert” Devesh Kumar, for allegedly supplying fabricated material on Meta and Instagram to damage the reputation of The Wire. Kumar had worked on a series of articles about parent company Meta that owns Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram giving privileged access to BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya.  This development comes even as  BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya filed a complaint against the Wire for fabricating the claims in the Meta story.  Apart from alleging that Meta was quick to remove posts targeting government by some instagrammers, it also alleged that Malviya had special privileges which allowed him to get content removed from Instagram.

A First Information Report was filed on 29 October basis Malviya’s complaint.

Even as people were catching up to the daily developments in this many-stranded story, netizens, eminent personalities, talking heads on Twitter pulled out an old interview of the editor-in-chief, Siddharth Varadarajan  that contradicts his current allegations that Kumar duped The wire with false information. In this interview, he clearly says that he was equally responsible for the faux pas. Snippets from the interview is being shared on social media. In the interview to Platformer Varadarajan is quoted as saying: “We should not make it about Devesh. It is equally about me. I was hands on involved in the story.”

Kanchan Gupta, senior advisor, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting tweeted: “Brave Siddharth Varadrajan before FIR: “We should not make this about Devesh Kumar. (It’s) equally about me, I was hands on involved in the Meta story.”  And after Amit filed FIR: “We have filed a complaint against Devesh who supplied fabricated material.”

Devesh Kumar has deleted all his social media accounts.

 

Earlier Gupta had tweeted, “Blinded by hate  Siddharth Varadrajan took a fraudster called Devesh Kumar with a mile-long history sheet of bogus claims on board The Wire to launch an attack on BJP and Modi Govt? Devesh has left Sid and The Wire tarred and feathered. Deservingly so.”

 

The Wire got into trouble after it claimed in a story that Malviya was an alleged ‘X-check’ list of Meta (the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram) through which he could get any social media post removed. In his complaint, Malviya has also mentioned another ‘retracted report’ allegedly published by The Wire accusing BJP of using a programme named Tek Fog, a ‘superhuman app’, for social media interception. The FIR has been filed against Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, MK Venu and Jahnavi Sen.

Here’s a copy of the complaint by Malviya.

 

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