Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Home News Reports Popular Pakistani troll reveals how he makes sure PM Modi doesn't win any Twitter...

Popular Pakistani troll reveals how he makes sure PM Modi doesn’t win any Twitter polls, how anti-India propaganda is organised and furthered

"Even if you say something that's not true, but it influences the people in a positive way, then, I do not consider it propaganda", he says

In a 25-minute-long documentary titled, “War, Lies, and hashtags: Pakistan’s Twitter Battles”, Al Jazeera documents the life of a Pakistani man, Farhan Virk, who has earned a name for himself in the Twitter community. Despite being a doctor, he identifies himself as a ‘Twitter influencer’ who peddles anti-India propaganda on the platform. Farhan holds the potential to make any hashtag trending on Twitter.

Even though he claims to have received no patronage from the propaganda machinery of the Pakistani government, many suspect otherwise. Unlike others, he takes pride in calling himself a ‘troll’. Farhan runs a group, named, Team Imran Khan, and boasts of a whopping 1000 followers. They work in tandem to make anti-India hashtags viral on Twitter. He calls himself ‘alt-right’ and seeks inspiration from the likes of Alex Jones and Steve Bannon, far-right political personalities in the US.

Despite being abused by Indians for his anti-India rhetoric, Farhan is firm in his resolve. Amidst escalated tensions between the two countries, the propaganda machinery of Farhan comes handy. In one instance, when he was about to lose a Twitter poll, Farhan received a call from the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He spent 10,000 PKR to change the Twitter poll results in his favour by hiring bots from foreign firms.

Pakistani media reports ‘sarcasm’ as truth

His wife, Iram, runs a group called “Team Green” and has about 100-150 active volunteers. They hatch plans to infiltrate Indian Twitter trends so that their tweets stay at the top of the trend. “If someone calls me a troll of the army, then, it is a matter of pride,” the wife of Farhan conceded. Following the Balakot airstrike that destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camps and neutralised 300 terrorists, a desperate Pakistan claimed that only a few trees fell during the aerial bombardment. As such, Farhan, in line with the State narrative, ran the hashtag #IndiaAgainstTreePlantation. And interestingly, the Pakistani news media picked up the trends and reported as if it was actual news.

Falsehood and Propaganda

The Al Jazeera documentary also highlights how Twitter warriors can create the mirage of a war, far-fetched from the reality on the ground. Even though there were no ceasefire violations at the Sialkot border, as testified by people living close to the border, netizens from both the countries talked about happy firing along the Line of Control (LoC). “Apparently, Pakistan has occupied 25 Indian check posts,” Farhan was quoted as saying.

Following the Balakot strike, Farhan got slammed by fellow Pakistanis after he tried to downplay the befitting reply of India through surgical strike 2.0. “My ideology is of national interest. To protect your national interest, even if you say something that’s not true, but it influences the people in a positive way, then, I do not consider it propaganda,” the Twitter influencer conceded. During the dogfight that ensued between the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Indian Air Force (IAF), Farhan and his Team Imran Khan participated in a Twitter trend, #PakistanStrikesBack, and was able to rank it as high as number two in global trends.

The propaganda material loosely revolves around altered images of politicians, doctored videos, and unverified and even defamatory news items. Reportedly, who has run over 4,500 propaganda hashtags through Team Imran Khan and is an asset for the current political dispensation in Pakistan to ward off political rivals or change narratives as per convenience, in case of international conflicts. He is a ‘thought leader’ to his followers but remains a ‘proud troll’ in the eyes of many.

Is propaganda sustainable?

While tweets cannot be monetised, Farhan has pinned his hopes on his youtube earnings. In one scene, he and his wife could be seen in a cafe and celebrating over a meagre earnings of $24. “This is my hard-earned money. Hard work is the key to success,” Farhan emphasised. Despite having a medical degree, he has chosen the profession of an ‘unpaid’ propagandist as he is under the impression that the work of twisting narratives on social media is more important than being a doctor.

“This is the age of social media warfare. Nowadays, the army needs to play a significant role on social media,” Farhan highlighted. He revealed how the party leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) come to him seeking for solutions to their problems but forget when the issues are resolved. Six months from the surgical strike, Iram’s account was suspended along with that of the volunteers of Team Green over their contentious tweets on Kashmir. With surmounting bills, Iram has moved on to mainstream media and remains hopeful to appeal to a wide range of audiences and become a successful news anchor.

As for Farhan whose life centered around social media, his Twitter account was eventually banned, for multiple violations, in December 2019. He now hopes to restart his medical career, earn money, and fight for elections. Despite his pro-government tweets, the IT cell of PTI has distanced itself from him. Farhan is a true representation of how the Pakistani government uses ambitious individuals, brainwashed by pseudo nationalism, into devoting their life for a cause that will remain unfulfilled forever.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Take a shot every time Rahul Gandhi says ‘strategy’ and get drunk before noon: Rahul Gandhi’s bizarre monologue goes viral

Rahul Gandhi thinks China has a 'vision' of 'modern Silk Road' with a 'nervous system' - we have no idea what he means by that.

‘Standing up for the national anthem is enforced nationalism’: Here’s how The Wire is fanning separatism in J and K

In essence, The Wire, in its article, has toed the separatists and terrorists' line in blaming the university for "enforcing" nationalism on students by simply asking them to comply with the university protocols, which include standing up for the national anthem, among other activities.

Central government gives nod to ‘Maryada Purushottam Sriram Airport’ in Ayodhya, sanctions Rs 250 crores: Details

The UP government has set the December 2021 deadline for completion of the Maryada Purushottam Sriram Airport in Ayodhya

Twitter forces user to delete tweet highlighting Hindu victims of Godhra massacre, days after it refused to block fake news

Users have accused the platform of deliberately censoring posts that highlight the Hindu victims of the Godhra Massacre.

Andhra Pradesh: BJP alleges evangelists built a Christian cross-shaped structure at Hindu holy site, police ‘clarifies’, leaves crucial question unanswered

BJP leaders have alleged that the huge Christian Cross symbol was put up illegally in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh where Hindus believed Sita Maa's footprints existed

Special Prosecutor in Delhi Riots case shows court a Newslaundry article that created a false narrative against the investigation

Special Public Prosecutor slammed Newslaundry in court, said they reported false information under his name in Delhi riots reportage

Recently Popular

‘Inserted her hand claiming she was planting a tree’: LGBT activist Divya Dureja accused of sexual assault under pretext of shamanic ritual

A popular LGBT activist Divya Dureja has been accused of sexual assault by Elodie Gendron under pretext of a Shamanic ritual.

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi’s Brigade Ground rally in Kolkata on 7th March: Local media

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi's rally at Brigade Ground in Kolkata on March 7, according to reports in local media.

Aamir Khan shelves Mahabharat amidst controversies because ‘now is not the right time’: Reports

Aamir Khan has shelved his 'Mahabharat' project amidst controversies because the 'timing' is not right, reports say.

A woman molested, a father murdered, a Samajwadi Party leader accused: Here is all you need to know about the Hathras case

"Aatankwadi hain woh", Hathras victim Pooja exclaimed, expressing her angst against the SP leader for killing her father

The Hindu ‘journalist’ Suhasini Haidar puts out misinformation about ISRO satellite launch: Read details

Suhasini Haidar, National Editor of 'The Hindu', put out false information on social media in attempt to mislead the public.

Gujarat: Ahmedabad woman Ayesha commits suicide by jumping into Sabarmati River, last video message goes viral

A video has gone viral on social media where Ayesha, a young woman, can be heard announcing her decision to commit suicide.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,190FansLike
521,375FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe