Alt News didn't even acknowledge our rebuttal and ignored our email completely. When pointed out on social media, they updated the article silently.
On September 22, Alt News published a report claiming BJP is misleading the public on Rafale. When I read the article, I found several errors and assumptions (due to prejudice and confirmation bias) by Alt News while writing this report. (Here is archived link)
I had a very high regard for Alt News as they claim to be always open to publishing any rebuttals to their article. Earlier they had published a rebuttal from JNU Professor Makarand Paranjape. Then they had refuted OpIndia's claim that Alt News didn't want to publish Major Gaurav Arya's side of the story.
Seeing their professionalism, I wrote a rebuttal highlighting their mistakes and false assumptions and sent an email requesting them to publish the rebuttal.
First of all, I would like to congratulate you and your team for doing such a wonderful job in busting fake news. You and your team is an asset of our society.
Recently, I came across an article on your website and I found a lot of errors in it. As I have heard you are always open to publishing rebuttals on your website, I wrote a rebuttal highlighting the mistake in your article.
Note: My rebuttal is in the draft and not published yet (means only people having Url can access it). If you agree with my rebuttal, please publish it on your website and as per your policy share it on social media with full credit.
Disclaimer: I am not associated with any party and I am just a normal software engineer working in an IT Company. In my free time, I am working on technology to counter fake news and biased opinions influencing thousands of people. Fact Hunt is just a part of my project.
I waited for 2 days but didn't even get an acknowledgment. Once I realized that they are not going to respond, I published my rebuttal on Fact Hunt and shared it on social media with our followers. You can read the rebuttal here.
Instead of acknowledging their mistake, Alt News silently updated the paragraph where they had misquoted BJP.
Original Paragraph on Alt News' website: On September 22, the official handle of the BJP tweeted that there is incontrovertible evidence that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had existed between Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the Rafale aircraft, and Reliance Defence since February 2013, when the UPA government was in power. (archived link)
After Update: On September 22, the official handle of the BJP tweeted that there is incontrovertible evidence that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had existed between Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the Rafale aircraft, and Reliance Industries since February 2013, when the UPA government was in power.
So, once called out for their propaganda, they silently changed Reliance Defence to Reliance Industries. After their update, it seems deliberate attempt to prove that BJP is misleading because an MOU was indeed signed between Dassault and Reliance industries as reported by TOI.
Now one can say that this might be a simple mistake. But after this correction, their article doesn't make any sense at all because BJP's tweet is correct and not misleading in any way.
Even in the last paragraph, they have written: "BJP’s claim that Reliance Industries Ltd. was already party to the agreement signed by the previous government is, simply put, false." I want to ask one question to the gentlemen at AltNews, How this claim is false. They further write "the Times of India article that the party has referred to is about a defence pact that was signed between Dassault Aviation and RIL, which is owned by Mukesh Ambani whereas the current agreement has awarded the offset contract to Reliance Defence Ltd which is owned by his brother Anil Ambani."
Isn't RIL is an abbreviation of Reliance Industries Ltd? Isn't Alt News contradicting itself? Maybe Alt News will never respond.
The entire episode has exposed Alt News that how they don't stick to their own policy. And by updating their article silently, they have clearly shown how much journalistic norms they follow.
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