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Is Amit Malviya Being Provided Special Privileges By Meta Owned Instagram?

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Source- Siasat

Amit Malviya, head of the infamous IT cell of BJP is under limelight again over a controversy regarding arbitrary removal of posts on social media site Instagram. Recently a video went viral that showed Prabhakar Maurya, an Uttar Pradesh resident, worshiping state chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The video shows the CM holding divine objects such as a bow and arrows as well as a revolving sun behind his head.

The video soon went viral with many on Twitter and Instagram mocking the act. One such Instagram account is @cringearchivist. Posted this as one of my stories. However, Instagram quickly removed the story, citing a violation of its ‘nudity and sexual content’ guidelines. However,  both the man and the idol in the video were fully clothed, and there was no visible sexual connotation whatsoever.

 

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Source- News18

 

At the time, the administrators of the @cringearchivist handle – who refer to themselves as a group of academics and journalists – assumed that there was a mistake in the platform’s AI-run oversight mechanism, which had incorrectly flagged the post as portraying nudity.

Popular news portal, The Wire reported this story following the takedown of the concerned post. The Wire has learnt from a well-placed source at Meta that it was not, in fact, due to an algorithmic glitch. The post was taken down – and that too just minutes after it was posted – only because it was reported by Instagram user @amitmalviya. That’s the handle belonging to Amit Malviya, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s infamous IT Cell.

As The Wire had reported, @cringearchivist has seen seven of its posts removed by Instagram in the last few months. This, the administrators of the satirical account said, has forced them to go ‘private’ (only followers can see their posts), thereby limiting their growth and reach.

The internal Instagram report, which The Wire has accessed, makes clear that the reported post was taken down immediately without any of the company’s moderators looking at it, based simply on the identity of the reporter (Malviya). In fact, any post that Malviya reports is treated the same way – an immediate removal from the platform, no questions asked. Just in the month of September, the Meta source told The Wire, Malviya reported 705 posts on Instagram – all of which were taken down.

Meta is the owner of Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook. In September 2021, Meta introduced a program named Meta’s ‘XCheck’ or ‘Cross Check’ program. This inclusive program has a list of eminent people, mostly celebrities, sportspersons and politicians, who have a large number of followers. If you are a member of XCheck, you basically have the power to flout Instagram’s rules. In short, you can save yourself from bad press by bringing it down, and no questions will be asked.

 

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Source- The Wire

 

 

Meta is the owner of Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook. In September 2021, Meta introduced a program named Meta’s ‘XCheck’ or ‘Cross Check’ program. This inclusive program has a list of eminent people, mostly celebrities, sportspersons and politicians, who have a large number of followers. If you are a member of XCheck, you basically have the power to flout Instagram’s rules. In short, you can save yourself from bad press by bringing it down, and no questions will be asked.

However, This was a hush-hush affair which was later questioned by The Wall Street Journal. The XCheck program was not positively received by those working in Meta. Many thought it could violate the company’s standards without any consequences. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2020, there were around 5.8 million users part of the XCheck program. 

The BJP IT cell president is also a member of Instagram’s ‘XCheck program’, even though he has a mere 5,000 followers on Instagram and 15,000 followers on Facebook. With this privilege, Malviya can post anything and pull down any post he wishes to. Being an XCheck member no one can flag, review or question his posts. 

Meta never publicly revealed the existence of these XCheck accounts, and while investigations have brought out certain names from different parts of the world, the program’s use in India has so far remained unknown.

However, communications personnel from Meta, the parent company of social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, has called out the propaganda piece published by The Wire and said how the underlying documentation on which the article was published appeared fabricated. Post allegations, a Meta official came out and said how the XCheck program has nothing to do with review of these posts and they had come up by automated systems and not humans and that the document The Wire published was fabricated. 

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