ANI Files FIR Against Perpetrator Of Photoshopped Modi 'German Shepherd' Tweet

14/04/2015 7:37 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
TOBIAS SCHWARZ via Getty Images
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands after a news conference on their talks in Berlin April 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

News agency Asian News International (ANI) filed a police complaint on Tuesday against a photoshopped tweet about Prime Minister Narendra Modi that was wrongly attributed to their official Twitter handle.

The tweet in question featured a 'quote' from the Prime Minister, who is currently on tour in Germany, and created a furore on Twitter. It quotes Modi as saying, "My love for Germany goes decades back. When I was a small boy in Guj my only friend was a German Shephard (sic)" with the hashtag #ModiInGermany.

However, later in the day, ANI's official handle tweeted out a clarification and threatened legal action against the person behind the mischief. As of Tuesday evening, the identity of this person is still unknown. However, according to user @kapsology, the first known instance of this tweet appeared on the timeline of a user named @SahuSKNT allegedly via another user named @MehekF. The latter has has since deleted the post.

It is unclear when it all started but the tweet got noticed majorly when user @JoyDas, who posted it around noon on Tuesday, shared it and became the first person to cast suspicion upon the tweet.

This tweet circulated around for a while and was also tweeted by another user, @AnkitLal, during the day. Eventually, Smita Prakash, News Editor at ANI, confirmed that it was a fake tweet, blaming @AnkitLal for the photoshop job.

This led to an open exchange between the two.

An hour later, it was made clear by a third person that @AnkitLal wasn't responsible for it as his tweet had appeared after the one put out by @JoyDas.

But the furore had already grown big by then. Meanwhile, news website FirstPost put out a story on the fracas...

... to which Prakash responded indignantly.

FirstPost responded by changing the headline, but the damage seemed to have been done by then, and the exchange turned into an all-out verbal duel.

At this point, Lakshmi Chaudhry, executive editor at FirstPost, responded with equal indignation.

While Chaudhry admitted that the original headline was sloppy, she clarified that the copy did not attribute the blame to ANI and had therefore been left unchanged.

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