The Russian rigging of election in the US hasn’t wound up, while here we are at another possible interference by the Russian cyber crusaders meddling with the Indian elections, and the popularity of Indian leaders.
The recent surge of the twitter handle of RaGa, @OfficeofRG has been doing rounds in media and the Congress has been keeping all agog, celebrating the rise of RaGa over twitter as his charisma resonating with the masses.
The factual matrix of the matter was brought to light by the findings of the BJP’s cyber wing, when they mapped the twitter handle of RaGa to gaze at what was happening.
The rising fame and popularity was given a deafening blow when it was revealed that the most retweets and likes came from bot accounts. the bot accounts on twitter are not new or this is not the first time they have stirred a cauldron.
The official twitter data release suggests that there are somewhere 9% to 15% accounts that are active and automatically operated. These accounts feed on the inputs through a programme and prey on the algorithms of not only twitter but also facebook and other social networking platforms.
The recent survey by BJP’s media wing found out that most of the retweets from Yuvraj’s twitter handle and the likes among followers were not located in India! Moreover these twitter accounts were located in Russia, Siberia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere.
The rising popularity RaGa on twitter had given jitters to the BJP which has to its credit the world’s most followed Indian politician, Narendra Modi, who has an average of 2000+ retweets and likes on every post, within a span of 3-4 hours.
The report was published and verified by the ANI, which was used by Ms. Smriti Irani to dart RaGa. The reports actually show bots engaging with the twitter handle and have thus denied RaGa of his road to fame yet once again.
Divya Spandana, the Head of the Congress’ social media wing has also denied any alleged involvement of the party to use subversive practices to rake up a propaganda for RaGa. She said once a person tweets on the micro blogging site, and then what happens to the post is completely out of control of the user. She further said if there are any further questions the reports may ask twitter directly.
This comes in the aftermath of the ongoing investigation in the US over an alleged role of Russian bot propagated content that created a successful Anti-Hillary campaign on twitter and facebook which led to the victory of Donald Trump.
There has been an overall crackdown on social media in the global community where the internet content has done more harm than good in moulding public opinion. The information age must have some regulations to not to vitiate the democratic process by a porous back-channel which amounts to stifling the freedom of speech and expression.
The propaganda spread by the internet is detrimental to the collective consciousness of the society at large as the people are supplied with doctored content vitiating their decision-making faculties to seek reliance on the perverse content circulated online.
The Indian government must do something about it at the earliest as this author has felt the perils of the same during the UP Assembly elections in 2017.