Hate-churning fake SM handle targets Al Jazeera, Wire and Rana Ayyub reputation
A Twitter handle claiming to be a correspondent for Al Jazeera targeted Hindus with messages inciting violence against Hindus following the recent violence in New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The result was a social media blowback against the global media outlet.
This came at a time when the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India has peaked following protests against the controversial amendments to the Indian citizenship law. The trouble maker took advantage of the sensitive situation to churn hate against a media outlet that is based in West Asia.
The description for Dilawar Shaikh claimed that he was a reporter for Al Jazeera, which has said that it does not have any correspondent by that name and cautioned the public against incitement to violence by fake social media handles. A part of the clarification read:
Tweets are being circulated from a twitter handle @dilawarshaikh_. This is a spurious account and has no relation or affiliation to Al Jazeera. The Network doesn’t have any journalist by the name of Dilawar Shaikh.
This is a clear attempt to malign the Network and to bring it into disrepute.
Before the media outlet could react, there had been a backlash on Twitter against Al Jazeera merely because the said Twitter handles bio claimed to be a reporter.
In the same bio, the Twitter handle claimed that it had worked at the Wire and was inspired by journalist Rana Ayyub. The attempt seems to have been to malign both the journalism outfits and the reporter Rana Ayyub. The Wire and Ayyub have been the subject of Indian right-wing nationalists for their critical coverage of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian home minister Amit Shah.