Home International organisation How global platforms promoted The Wire’s now-removed ‘Tek Fog’ story to tarnish India’s reputation

How global platforms promoted The Wire’s now-removed ‘Tek Fog’ story to tarnish India’s reputation

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Days after The Wire withdrew its reports of the Meta story and ordered an “internal investigation” into the fiasco, the left-leaning propaganda website also quietly withdrew its months-old report on Tek Fog, an app which he said was being used by the BJP to manipulate trends and automatically spew hate online.

Based on an August 2020 tweet and a ‘source’, The Wire had claimed that the BJP was using software called Tek Fog, run by BJP chief Devang Dave, which had unprecedented powers to manipulate trends. online and produce hate to attack its critics. . Even though Dave strenuously denied the allegations in an email to Wire, they still proceeded with publishing the story.

In the January 2022 report, Wire claimed that the so-called Tek Fog app allowed the BJP to “hijack” Twitter trends, managed multiple WhatsApp accounts, and directly harassed anti-BJP journalists online. The report claimed that the app could circumvent all sorts of security features that major social media platforms have. According to The Wire, Tek Fog had some sort of superpower that granted him abilities that even the United States’ NSA didn’t have. The Wire alleged that hacking top apps like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. was a breeze using Tek Fog, and all the security features of these platforms disappear with this magic software.

However, within days, OpIndia punched holes in The Wire’s report on Tek Fog, highlighting how the leftist propaganda website’s claims of a superpower app didn’t add up and how the app could be the fruit of their fertile imagination. The full rebuttal can be read here. But it took 10 months and the Meta fiasco that led to The Wire also pulling its stories from Tek Fog pending an “internal investigation”. Incidentally, Devesh Kumar, a staff member at The Wire who co-wrote the Meta stories, had also co-wrote the Tek Fog stories.

On October 23, 2022, The Wire retracted its Tek Fog stories, with links to the Tek Fog stories on its website displaying a message. Here is the screenshot of the message on one of the reports published by The Wire.

Source: The Wire

While the removal of Meta and Tek Fog’s stories is an attempt to save face for The Wire to claim they are transparent and concerned with journalistic ethos, the original lie they peddled has traveled far and wide, finding its way onto global and damaging platforms. organizations that used it to the hilt to tarnish India’s reputation.

How dodgy international organizations and left-leaning media helped spread the Tek Fog lie

Freedom House, a dubious human rights ‘watchdog’ that backed violent protests against a law that granted citizenship rights to persecuted minorities like Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians of the neighboring Islamic states of India, took the country from “free” to “partially”. free” in 2021. Also in 2022, the organization maintained India as “partially free”, relying on damaging reports and unsubstantiated claims, including The Wire’s story on Tek Fog, to assert that BJP members used it to shape public narratives and manipulate opinions on social media.

Tek Fog
Source: https://freedomhouse.org/country/inde/freedom-net/2022

Similarly, other organizations that have been pathologically opposed to India, especially after Modi became Prime Minister, have cited the Tek Fog story as one of the examples to lower India’s ranking on their wacky indexes. For example, the 2022 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Index dropped India from 142nd last year to 150th this year, even placing it below despotic and dictatorial regimes like the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, where advances against members of the press are a given.

A report published in English HW cited The Wire’s story of Tek Fog to highlight how it played a role in India’s ranking downgrade from 142 last year to 150 in 2022. In fact, The Wire himself dropped his “investigation” into Tek Fog, which is now suspected to be a case of outright fraud, when they reported on India’s downgrade on the Press Freedom Index more early this year.

Tek Fog
Source: The Wire

India’s supposed fall on the ‘Democracy Index’ and ‘Press Freedom Index’ has been repeated ad-nauseam by both Indian politicians and other commentators on global platforms , who want to prove that India lives under a dystopian dictatorship, and only the white masters of the west can come and save the poor brown people oppressed by an evil regime led by Prime Minister Modi.

The Washington Post, Bloomberg and Wikipedia peddled The Wire’s claims about Tek Fog which are now suspected to be outright fraud

Not only these two clues, the fictional Tek Fog has been cited by several other global platforms to paint a negative picture of India, such as the Washington Post, Bloomberg and others, which have amplified The Wire’s uncredible claims according to which the BJP used an app to manipulate social media trends and spray its critics with hate online. The list is indicative, but it gives a window into how the lie has been spread far and wide through the network of global leftist organizations.

Tim Culpan and Andy Mukherjee, two Bloomberg columnists, had co-authored an opinion piece based on the Wire story on Tek Fog, which was published by several media houses. They had made statements that weren’t even made by Wire about the so-called app. They claimed that it is a browser-based application and is very powerful.

Making more outlandish claims about the app that doesn’t exist, they had written: “Tek Fog is a military-grade PSYOP – psychological operations – weapon.” A capability like this was until now only available to state actors for use against enemy populations, they had further said, citing a security researcher.

The Wire’s Tek Fog fabrications have also been used as citation and evidence on several Wikipedia articles that paint India in a bad light. Such articles explain how the standards of freedom and democracy in India are falling and how the Modi government is solely responsible for this. For example, a Wikipedia article titled “Press Freedom in India” cites The Wire to make this point.

Source: Wikipedia

It should be noted that Wikipedia is still misunderstood as a neutral platform by millions of unsuspecting Internet users around the world, when in reality it has been taken over by ideologues belonging to the left camp, who amplify the lies and propaganda of left outfits and publications. Wikipedia dominates left-wing editors, and as a result, several Wikipedia pages are biased, with added information catering to the whims and fancies of left-wing editors.

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, who is no longer involved with Wikipedia, had spoken publicly about the online encyclopedia’s bias. Sanger had written that he had long since forgotten his original policy of presenting information from a neutral point of view, and nowadays the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia can be relied upon to cover the policy from a ” liberal point of view.

The story of The Wire’s Tek Fog is a perfect example of what Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels reportedly proposed: “If a lie is repeated a thousand times, it becomes the truth.” The Wire may have taken down its article, for now, but the intended lie and propaganda is now history and continues to be quoted on various global platforms, some of which are listed above.

How The Editor’s Guild of India promoted The Wire’s lies

Apart from the damage that The Wire’s propaganda article has done to India’s reputation, let us also remind the Editor’s Guild of India that they had published a “courageous” letter condemning the imaginary attack on journalists referred to by the wire in January 2022.

Will they now withdraw the condemnation and instead write another letter condemning the thread? No one knows what The Editor’s Guild of India will do after The Wire is exposed for its false reporting and bias.

However, the Tek Fog episode serves as a cautionary tale to Indians, considering that it is just a propaganda piece by a left-leaning outlet causing such major damage to India’s reputation in the world. Readers can guess how much damage has been done over the years by the entire network of leftist publications.