BJP uses bots to create ‘Twitter Storm’ and discredit Bengal Government
With Delhi Police accusing climate activist Disha Ravi of using Google Doc, a toolkit and ‘Twitter Storm’ to defame India, an investigative journalist shows how BJP used them to discredit Bengal Govt
In a series of tweets on Saturday, a digital investigator Benjamin Strick exposed a ‘ toolkit’ and a Google doc used by the Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal to target Trinamool Congress and create ‘Twitter storms’ to boost visits by PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to Bengal.
Benjamin Strick is described as ‘an open source investigative journalist with BBC Africa Eye specialising in geospatial intelligence, geolocation and chronolocation’.
He examined Twitter links to a Google Drive, containing suggested tweets and graphics to use.
Strick makes several significant points.
1. The Google Doc being shared to run this coordinated copypasta campaign has author details in it. The email address is listed on the Linkedin of a "social media team lead" for the Indian Government (MyGov).
2. He points to a Google Drive with a Google Document containing text packets of suggested tweets, and a folder with images for the network to pump out through Twitter.
3. There appears to be dates where accounts were created in 'batches' in Dec 2020 and Jan 2021.
4. It appears the 'recommended' text in Bengali, English and Hindi have been posted by 'BJP-affiliated' Facebook accounts then replicated on Twitter.
5. Coordinated twitter storms to discredit the state government created the impressions of genuine outrage as in tags like #TMCHataoBanglaBachao with the text “Bengal has been suffering from last 10 years. The TMC regime has built..." In another hashtag it was said that the new farm laws would make selling agriculture produce easier: using the tag #KrishokSurokhaAbhijan with the text: "নতুন কৃষি আইনের দ্বারা কৃষিজ পণ্য বিক্রি করা হবে আরও সহজ। বিজেপি সরকার আনছে কৃষক সুরক্ষা অভিযান।"
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