Meta vs The Wire: 'Will debunk obfuscation today,' says Siddharth Varadarajan

The Wire in their editorial alleged that BJP's Amit Malviya has access to privilege X-Check and he can get posts taken down. However, Meta has refuted the claims calling the claims "outlandish and riddled with falsities".

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 12:13 PM IST
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Guy Rosen (Left), Siddharth Varadarajan (Right) | FPJ

Siddharth Varadarajan, co-founder of the news website The Wire, has opened up about the controversy that ensued their investigative report dated October 10. He said that Meta's 'fabrication charge' as they claim may have been played to "discredit" them.

The Wire in their editorial which alleged that BJP's Amit Malviya has access to privilege X-Check and stated that he can get any social media post on platforms like Facebook and Instagram taken down.

Facebook's parent company Meta refuted these claims and dubbed it as 'outlandish' and 'riddled with falsities'.

Security chief Guy Rosen said, "These stories are fabrications. The stories are simply incorrect about the cross-check program, which was built to prevent potential over-enforcement mistakes. It has nothing to do with the ability to report posts, as alleged in the article."

He further said, "These accusations are outlandish and riddled with falsities."

Siddharth on October 12 in a detailed thread said that their stories came from multiple Meta sources that they have "known, met and verified." He also said that they had reached out to these sources as a part of their "continuing investigation into Instagram's strange (and continuing) takedown of an account Archive of Cringetopia's post on Adityanath".

He said that they sought basic information that Meta chose not to provide and further addressed that in response to their questions, a Meta source "searched internally and sent documentation about the takedown, which noted Amit Malviya's complaint ans his XCheck status."

"Meta says this document 'appears fabricated' but aren't being more categorical—for reasons they know well. One of our Meta sources who shared the document didn't even know who Amit Malviya was. So the idea that he would fake a document with his name makes no sense. Also the internal review timestamps (in ms) matched what the the Cringe archivist had received," he further wrote.

Varadarajan further said that The Wire had contacted separate Meta sources for additional information they may have after Andy Stone questioned veracity of the document.

"They were able to quickly access and share Stone's email. The idea that trusted sources with whom we have ongoing relations would fake the email is such is the trust between us that the sources shared not just a cropped email screenshot with us but the complete header information—knowing full well that the identity of the original email recipient within Meta may get compromised if that information were disclosed by us," he mentioned in his detailed statement on Twitter.

"The sources who accessed Stone email for us didn't know a Meta India comms guy had called Jahnavi Sen at 8:46pmon October 10—odd time for anyone to make a business call—and messaged! But it fits with Stone and Aggrawal's email timestamps where the need for this call was flagged. Meta has also tried to raise all kinds of doubts about the email address, Instagram URL, etc. The Wire will be answering and debunking all of their obfuscation in a detailed story later today," he wrote.

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