BJP’s information technology cell head Amit Malviya has said that he will file criminal charges against the Wire and also seek damages in a civil court for allegedly forging documents to malign and tarnish his reputation. This came hours after the news portal issued an apology to its readers a week after retracting its controversial Meta stories.
“After consultation with my lawyers and seeking their advise, I have decided to file criminal and civil proceedings, against ‘The Wire.’ Not only will I be setting the criminal process in motion but I will also sue them in a civil court seeking damages as they forged documents with a view to malign and tarnish my reputation,” Malviya tweeted.
Soon after, the Wire released a statement saying, “In the life of any publication, an occasion may come when it is misinformed.”
Reiterating that it had been the victim of “fraud perpetrated upon a publication”, it said, “Whether the person who brought all the material to the Wire deceived us at anyone else’s behest or acted on his own is a matter that will be subjected to judicial process in due course. The malintent to discredit the Wire is obvious.”
Second statement today
This is in keeping with a issued early this morning, where the Wire said it had been deceived by a “member of our Meta investigation team”.
The news website said the “internal editorial processes which preceded publication of these stories did not meet the standards that the Wire sets for itself and its readers expect from it”.
According to the statement, the stories did not “hold up” due to a combination of “not fully grasping the complexities of technology and a slippage in editorial assessment of tech-related matters”.
On the need to cross-check “complex technical evidence” with experts, the statement said: “Had we done this before publication rather than after the fact, this would have ensured that the deception to which we were subjected by a member of our Meta investigation team was spotted in time.” The website’s editorial team “takes moral responsibility for the omission”.
Earlier this month, the Wire had published two stories on Meta’s XCheck programme. Meta responded that the Wire’s documents were “fabrications”. Later in the week, the Wire published details of the technical process it followed, including redacted emails from two experts. Both experts subsequently told Newslaundry they had not been part of the process.
The Wire its stories on October 18, and on October 23.
Read our, and why the Wire was compelled to.
A weekly guide to the best of our stories from our editors and reporters. Note: Skip if you're a subscriber. All subscribers get a weekly, subscriber-only newsletter by default.