Amit Shah’s poll plans: Spread fire, make even fake messages go viral
“We are capable enough to spread any message among people, whether sour or sweet, real or fake,” said BJP President Amit Shah to his cyber workers, while laughing over a fake story that went viral
With state assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh coming up and Lok Sabha elections around the corner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the Central Government, is putting a special focus on social media propaganda.
Perhaps unconvinced by the BJP-led Central Government’s achievements, the message of BJP chief Amit Shah, to the party’s young cadre is loud and clear—lies or half-truths, it doesn’t matter for the rattled ruling party. “Through social media, we have to set up government in the state and at the Centre,” said Shah during a social media volunteers' meet at Kota, Rajasthan on September 22.
“We are capable enough to spread any message among people, whether sour or sweet, real or fake. We can do this work only because we have 32 lakh people in our WhatsApp groups. That is how we were able to make this viral,” Shah declared, encouraging his workers to make no distinction between fact and misinformation. Shah even shared an anecdote of fake news going viral to the benefit of the BJP during the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
The video of Amit Shah’s speech in Kota can be viewed below:
More such gems from Amit Shah’s speech in Kota last week
- I travel across the country. Party activists tell me that social media followers of Rahul baba (Gandhi) are growing. Tell me brothers! Do Russians have right to vote here, do Tajiks have right to vote here? Romania...Yugoslavia...Lanka..? So Rahul Gandhi’s followers belong to those countries. My Chetaks need not to be afraid of paid mules! They can’t defeat you
- Neither air nor fire is powerful, whosoever demonstrates the capacity to spread more wins the war. The youth will have to spread like fire if you want Narendra Modi to get another term for prime ministership.
- In the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year, BJP created two major WhatsApp groups. One group had 15 lakh members and the other had 17 lakh. We had a total strength of 32 lakh people. Every morning at 8 am, they would send out “know the truth”. Whatever newspapers would print false news reports, they would post its reality on the WhatsApp. And it would go viral on WhatsApp. And whichever paper had carried these stories, ordinary people, and social media, would start attacking them, asking why have you printed lies, you should print the truth. And by doing this, slowly, the media became neutral.
- But we had a boy. He did a clever thing. As I said, message would go from bottom to top and top to bottom. He posted a message in the group that Akhilesh Yadav had slapped Mulayam Singh. No such thing had happened. Mulayam and Akhilesh were 600 km apart. But he put out this message and the social media team made it viral. It spread everywhere. By 10 that day, my phone started ringing, bhai sahab, did you know Akhilesh slapped Mulayam…. Such things also happens among people…One should not do it (says with grin), but he created a certain kind of perception. It’s a work worth doing but don’t do it. (crowd laughs)…Do you understand what I say? We can do good things as well!
The party posted the video of its President’s speech on it’s YouTube channel on the same day of the speech, yet there were no prime time debates on it or reports in the major newspapers, barring small reports carried by a few news websites. Had there been a leader from the Opposition parties who in the same had encouraged his party workers not to distinguish between real and fake stories when sharing way, would the media still have chosen to turn a blind eye towards it?