Was Rihanna paid to tweet on India's farmers' protest? The global singing icon made headlines when she took a CNN story and tweeted 'why aren't we talking about this?" Since then there have been reports of her 'getting paid' for her tweet. Here's all that we know so far.
On February 2, global pop icon Rihanna shared a tweet that kicked up a social media storm. It referred to the ongoing farmers' agitation in India. Linking a report on the tight security measures and internet shutdowns that have been implemented by authorities around New Delhi, the epicentre of the protest, Rihanna wrote, "why aren’t we talking about this?!"
Questions arise: Was Rihanna paid to tweet? What is the toolkit?
Conspiracy theories immediately began floating, with social media users questioning the authenticity of the Umbrella singer's tweet, alleging she had been paid for remarking on the farmers' protest. Soon after, many seemed to find their allegations of an "international plot" to defame India justified when a 'toolkit' tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg came under the scanner, with latest reports suggesting an alleged link between these women talking about India's protests.
Was Rihanna paid to tweet on India's protests?
As per a report by The Print, authorities are probing into a Canada-based organisation called Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) in order to unveil the alleged "conspiracy" behind the toolkit Thunberg shared. Four names are reportedly on the radar of Indian authorities: Mo Dhaliwal, Marina Patterson, Anita Lal, and Jagmeet Singh.
There is apparently a spotlight on Dhaliwal, the co-founder of PJF and a firm called Skyrocket, with reports claiming he is an avid supporter of the Sikh separatist movement (also called the Khalistan movement). It is being alleged that Dhaliwal's Skyrocket paid Rihanna $2.5 million to tweet on the farmers' protest.
PJF, in a statement, has denied all claims of paying the pop star or organising the public figures together on social media.
With Thunberg's toolkit under the scanner, the question everyone's asking: Was Rihanna paid to tweet on the farm protests?
On Twitter, PJF has been active in its support for the farmers' protest in India. Farm leaders spearheading the agitation in New Delhi have, however, denied knowledge to or affiliation with Dhaliwal and the other names.
Many on social media, meanwhile, are raising doubts over the veracity of the claim that Rihanna was paid to tweet since the singer had also tweeted on the Myanmar coup right after.
What is the farmers' protest toolkit all about?
Thunberg had earlier this week expressed solidarity with farmers protesting around New Delhi against the centre’s three farm laws, sharing a toolkit meant to organise “urgent action” towards the protests. The teen activist caused a furore when she deleted said document and posted a fresh one.
Twitter users claimed significant changes between the two documents: the one that Thunberg originally shared at 5:20 pm but later deleted and the one she shared at 1:20 am late last night.
The Delhi Police reportedly filed an FIR against Thunberg's protest toolkit document she shared on Twitter. Read more here. As investigations continue, social media users, fans, and other onlookers await the clearance of air on one question: Was Rihanna paid to tweet or is it all just a needless hoax?