Co-founders of the fact-checking platform AltNews, Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha, are among the contenders to win the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, reports Time.
According to the report, the fact-checker duo became the contenders to win the coveted prize based on nominations that were made public via Norwegian lawmakers, predictions from bookmakers, and picks from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).
According to a survey conducted by the Reuters, the list of contenders made by the Norwegfian lawmakers also feature the names of Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, broadcaster David Attenborough, climate activist Greta Thunberg, Pope Francis, Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe, and Myanmar's National Unity government.
The Nobel Committee does not announce the names of nominees, neither to the media nor to the candidates,
"Neither the names of nominators nor of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize may be divulged until the start of the year marking the 50th anniversary of the awarding of a particular prize," reads the Nobel Committee's rules on nominations for the peace prize.
Mohammed Zubair- A name whose arrest showed the status of press freedom in India
Mohammed Zubair was arrested in June this year for a 2018 tweet that was "highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feelings of hatred" as per a Delhi Police First Information Report (FIR).
The Delhi Police charged him for inciting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and deliberate acts to outrage religious sentiments.
Mr Zubair walked out of Tihar Jail a month later after being granted bail by the Supreme Court.
AltNews- The brainchild of Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubaitr
Mohammad Zubair and Pratik Sinha are the co-founders of the fact-checking website AltNews, which they started in 2017 to combat the rising menace of fake news.
Since its inception, the not-for-profit AltNews has cracked down on fake news and played a key role in busting communal, casteist and unscientific claims. It has specially been vocal against the myriad fake news videos and WhatsApp forwards targeting minorities in India and against the policies of the current government that muzzle freedom of press and freedom of speech and expression. Its founders often face online trolling and threats by right-wing groups, some of them linked to the BJP.
At the time of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019 after the Tablighi Jamat gathering was deemed a super-spreader event, AltNews played a key role in busting myths and fake news videos about Muslims spreading Covid-19 on purpose.
AltNews has also been at the forefront of fact-checking communal and casteist claims made by unruly elements on social media. It was AltNews that highlighted hate speeches made by Hindu 'seers' at a recent gathering in Haridwar. The platform also notably identified individuals running the Hindu right-wing website DainikBharat.org. According to the BBC, a report by Alt News in June 2017 demonstrating that the Indian Home Ministry had used a picture of the Spanish-Moroccan border to claim it had installed floodlights on India's borders led to the ministry being trolled online.
Alt News founders have compiled a list of more than 40 “fake news sources” on social media, most of which support right wing views. The Alt News team has written a book titled "India Misinformed: The True Story”, which was published by HarperCollins and released in March 2019.
Nobel Peace Prize 2022- The other contenders
There are about 343 candidates - 251 are individuals and 92 are organizations - in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2022.
Besides Mr Sinha and Mr Zubair, Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky, The UN Refugee Agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Russian dissenter and Vladimir Putin critic Alexey Navalny are also contenders for the peace prize.
The winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced at 11 am local time on 7 October in Oslo.