Twitter (X) account of serial fake news peddler Ashok Swain withheld in India

Twitter (X) account of serial fake news peddler Ashok Swain withheld in India

On the 8th of August, the X (formerly Twitter) account of Sweden-based troll Ashok Swain was withheld in the country seemingly in response to a legal demand by the Government of India. The serial fake news peddler Swain teaches at Upsala University and has been caught multiple times peddling fake news to malign India and present a false narrative of Muslim victimhood in the country. 

Responding to this development, Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Kanchan Gupta pointed out that from now on, Swain won’t be able to peddle disinformation and fake news in the country.   

Taking to X, Gupta wrote, “This malicious disinformation and hateful Fake News peddler is a Swedish national funded by UU University of Sweden. His corrosive hate-mongering and disinfo. campaigns will no longer titillate his perverse Left Liberal fans in Bharat.”

A popular social media handle Befitting Facts highlighted a few antecedents of Ashok Swain to underscore the significance of this action against him. 

Evidently, in December 2022, tried to spread lies and undermine India’s communal harmony. Sharing a video of a mob thrashing a person, Swain gave a communal colour to the assault, insinuating that the man faced a near-fatal lynching attack for being a Muslim.

In a subsequent tweet, Swain said the attack was brutal, but the man survived and was in the hospital. However, contrary to the negative and communal portrayal, he wanted to present, it was found out that the man seen in the viral video was not attacked because of being a Muslim. The mob thrashed him on suspicion of being a thief.

The Police later arrested 5 people involved in the incident after the video of the thrashing went viral on the internet. Additionally, they also filed a case against the victim on theft charges. However, the list of fake news he has peddled to paint a dystopian picture is inexhaustive. 

Meanwhile, soon after the action was initiated, Social media handles started sharing information about other handles that have also been withheld in India, seemingly in a crackdown against fake news.  

The microblogging site has also taken action against the alleged journalist Ahmed Khabeer who works as the editor of ‘Jamia Times’. He is notorious for peddling fake news and normalising Hinduphobia.

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