Monday, April 6, 2020
Home Opinions Rahul Gandhi's and Congress' 'resurgence' - Bots are not the problem

Rahul Gandhi’s and Congress’ ‘resurgence’ – Bots are not the problem

Also Read

Editorial Deskhttp://www.opindia.com
Editorial team of OpIndia.com

Yesterday, Congress’ umpteenth attempt at relaunching Rahul Gandhi was laid bare by a simple investigation. It was revealed that a spurt in Rahul’s social media metrics, was actually a result of Russian, Kazhak and Indonesian bots fervently pushing up Rahu’s tweets. Congress and Rahul Gandhi were obviously panned for it. But are “bots” the real problem here?

Using bots for re-tweets or fake followers on social media, is one of the oldest tricks in the social media political book. No party is immune from this. A simple check on a popular site, which identifies “fake followers” (the way they define it) on Twitter, shows that across party lines, across countries, politicians and even religious leaders, have a large number of ‘fake’, inactive, or bot accounts following them:

- article continues after ad - - article resumes -

One can always debate the technicalities and methodologies behind such tools and try to argue in a way agreeable to them, but the real issue is much larger.

We had hinted at this a few days back, and since then, it has got even bigger. In the week ending October 11, at least SEVEN (1234567) different mainstream publications were all praise for Congress’s social media “resurgence”, claiming that Congress has now got its act together on social media. This in spite of the fact that the Congress’ social media handle has been goofing up on a regular basis. But the media cheerleaders were not done yet.

Between October 12 and October 20, we again had a barrage of media reports glorifying Rahul Gandhi’s rise on social media. NDTV carried this piece by a journalist named Mihir Sharma:

Hindustan Times, had this piece:

DailyO – an opinion websites from India Today group – too had this piece, based on the same premise:

The parent organisation India Today too carried another article:

NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan even conducted a full prime time debate on this issue:

Did any media house from the above try to investigate this sudden surge in Rahul Gandhi’s social media metrics before running flowery, fawning pieces on him, Congress and their “resurgence”? Did they try to analyse whether the growth was organic or manipulated? Especially since some in the same media, had in 2015, wrongly raised suspicion when Modi received a sudden “boost” on social media. The boost as it turned out, was due to some technical change from Twitter’s side.

Were various media houses fed with this fluff-story to boost Rahul Gandhi’s image? Most stories laid the credit squarely at Divya Spandana’s doorstep, for reinvigorating Congress’ and Rahul’s social media fortune. What role did she have, in pushing such stories out? Can it be a coincidence that at least 12 different stories on the same false premise were published in various media houses across a short span of 14 days or so?

This is the real problem. Most of the legacy media, especially left-leaning one, which keeps harping about “fake news”, played the pliant fool, or the enthused cheerleader, in propagating a myth which was backed by Kazakh bots. The same media, which hangs on to every word by PM Modi or anyone from his team, to be fact-checked to the last detail, readily gulped down this narrative that Rahul Gandhi is back with a bang. The only thing back though is the public’s distrust of legacy media.

- Support OpIndia -
Support OpIndia by making a monetary contribution

Trending now

Editorial Deskhttp://www.opindia.com
Editorial team of OpIndia.com

Latest News

Himachal Pradesh DGP warns coronavirus infected persons of ‘attempt to murder’ charges if found spitting on others

The DGP of Himachal Pradesh, Sanjay Kumar, had cautioned that people diagnosed with the Wuhan Coronavirus should refrain from spitting on others.

At least 11 Coronavirus positive patients die in West Bengal, but official count stands at 3: Here are the details

There seems to be a strange dichotomy in the number of cases and deaths due to the Wuhan Coronavirus being reported from West Bengal.

From TV viewership to memes on social media, Ramayan rules hearts

Laxman ji's expressions, statements and style are a rage on social media. Memes with hilarious captions for Laxman ji's facial expressions are flooding the internet.

Coronavirus: Virus believed to cause heart damage and could cause brain damage, in addition to long term or permanent damage to vital organs

A new aspect of the Wuhan Coronavirus has emerged. According to doctors, a significant portion of the patients of the Chinese Coronavirus has sustained heart damage.

Congress leader Alka Lamba engages in deranged rant against Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt, questions his parentage

Congress leader Alka Lamba has resorted to an extremely vulgar diatribe against Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt on social media.

Coronavirus: Wockhardt hospital in Mumbai declared containment zone after 26 nurses and 3 doctors test positive for coronavirus

About 300 people in the hospital have been held in quarantine after 3 doctors and 26 nurses of the hospital were tested positive for the coronavirus

Recently Popular

Nizamuddin Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat, hotspot of Wuhan Coronavirus, set to be demolished: Reports

Only two floors of the Nizamuddin Markaz are authorised, therefore the rest 7 floors may be demolished

Cricketer Mohammad Kaif gets attacked by Islamists for lighting lamp on 5th April in solidarity for fight against coronavirus

Islamists on social media weren't too happy with cricketer Mohammad Kaif for lighting lamp to thank healthcare workers, urged him to offer namaz instead.

30-year-old man shot dead in Prayagraj over remarks on Tablighi Jamaat’s role in spreading coronavirus, accused Md Sona nabbed

Mohammad Sona shot Lotan Nishad dead because Nishad had accused the Tablighi Jamaat members of spreading coronavirus in the country

Rajasthan Muslim woman, who was referred to another hospital, was 7th time pregnant with complicated anaemia case

Congress MLA in Rajasthan took to social media to inform that a Muslim pregnant woman in Bharatpur was refused admission because of her religion.

145 Hindus test Coronavirus positive after visiting​ Vaishno Devi: Islamist Ali Sohrab, who was once arrested, spreads fake news again

Fake news peddler Ali Sohrab was in November last year arrested by UP Police over his provocative tweets on Supreme Court judgement of Ram Janmabhoomi verdict

Subscribe to our newsletter

Each morning, get an email to keep updated with all the news, opinions and analysis published by OpIndia.

Connect with us

217,691FansLike
274,429FollowersFollow
213,000SubscribersSubscribe
Advertisements