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InstantBollywood: How this Bollywood fan Instagram handle with millions of followers has been spreading anti-farm laws propaganda

How this Bollywood fan page became a propaganda machine!

Amidst ongoing farmer protests, violence on January 26 in New Delhi, and uproar against the protests in the pretext of insulting the National Flag, many social media accounts are being exposed that are continuously spreading fake news and provoking naïve people. One such account is Instant Bollywood, run by one Simi Deol.

What is Instant Bollywood?

In simplest possible words, Instant Bollywood deals in information related to the film industry. It was started by Simi Deol in 2012. The company claims to have over 25 million followers. Its Instagram account has 6.4 million followers, Twitter account has 51,000 followers, its Facebook page has 1.8 million followers, and its YouTube account has less than 1000 subscribers. The LinkedIn page of the company claims it gets 2 billion page impressions every month. These stats are important as any misinformation posted by an account with 6.4 million followers can spread like wildfire, and this is exactly what Instant Bollywood did.

A long list of misinformation and manipulative posts by Instant Bollywood

The posts made by Instant Bollywood did not happen all of a sudden or happen only once. The company has been posting misleading information and fake news for months. Here are some screenshots of the posts a Bollywood News website posted on its Facebook page with 1.8 million followers.

In this video, the Sikh man is claiming that if the Agriculture laws are implemented, it will take away prosperity from Punjab. He also misled the viewers by saying that these laws will take away MSP. The government of India has repeatedly rebutted the claim and said that MSP is here to stay. During the meetings with farmer unions, the government of India was ready to give it in writing that the MSP will stay even if the laws are implemented. MSP was never part of any law, but the misinformation spread by such pages has presented it in a way that the government is trying to take away MSP.

Source: Instant Bollywood Facebook Page

Here are some other posts.

Source: Instant Bollywood Facebook Page
Source: Instant Bollywood Facebook Page
Source: Instant Bollywood Facebook Page
Source: Instant Bollywood Facebook Page
Source: Instant Bollywood Facebook Profile

The list continues on Instant Bollywood’s Instagram profile. During the Tractor rally, the company shared series of inflammatory posts on its Instagram stories that would have seen not only its millions of followers by countless others who reached to the stories because of hashtags and reshares.

A Twitter user ScarletStreetAv shared a few screenshots containing misleading information by InstantBollywood about flag hoisting on Red Fort.

A Twitter user Gayatri took screenshots of many posts made by the company on its Instagram account and shared them in a Tweet Threat. In the first four screenshots, the Instant Bollywood was seen justifying hoisting Nishan Sahib on Red Fort. The account even went ahead and called anyone against the protest ‘eggheads.’

In the second set of screenshots, Instant Bollywood tried to portray as if the young farmer, who died because his tractor overturned, died for protesting. Police have registered several cases against journalists and news agencies for spreading misinformation about this particular death.

In the third set of screenshots, it was visible that the company claimed that only a fraction of protestors were diverted from the route. However, in a recent video of one of the main accused of the Red Fort incident, Deep Sidhu, he had claimed lakhs of farmers had diverted from the original route.

In the fourth and fifth sets of screenshots, Instant Bollywood again tried to justify hoisting Nishan Sahib on Red Fort. It also shared videos of police retaliating to the protestors’ attacks but failed to post any videos when the protestors had attacked police or tried to mow down police personnel with a tractor.

Instant Bollywood also shared a post by Dilip Mandal, who tried to whitewash the act of holding Delhi at ransom by the protestors by saying, “There were over two lakh tractors and countless people. Was a single shop looted? Was someone’s car damaged? Was someone’s personal property damaged? Was some girl got molested? Was an ambulance stopped? They were not violent. They were just agitating against the government.”

In the sixth set of screenshots, there was a post made by Instant Bollywood that claimed every tractor had National Flag on it. Interestingly, it was one of the conditions Delhi Police had imposed while allowing the tractor rally. Also, it might be the only condition that the protestors had followed. Rest all conditions imposed on the route, time and weapons were ignored by the protestors. It has to be noted that over 300 police personnel, including female police officers, were injured. One female police officer was cornered and assaulted by protestors. Two female police officers were cornered with their male counterparts in Red Fort and beaten with batons. The protestors damaged several public buses, police vehicles. Not to forget, there are videos where they tried to mow down police personnel with tractors.

In another post, Instant Bollywood claimed that after denying Reliance will not enter into contract farming, and it secured the first major deal because of the new laws. In reality, the company only procured 1000 quintal paddy and not signed any contract for growing paddy with the farmers in Raichur, Karnataka.

Image source: Twitter user Gayatr1_

Other Netizens also demanded action against Instant Bollywood

Instant Bollywood has also posted against the summons National Investigating Agency sent to several people and organizations to explore their connections to Khalistan organizations.

Now, all these propaganda posts are removed from the social media accounts of Instant Bollywood.

Soon after the Red Fort siege, Instant Bollywood tried to whitewash the riots and posted a video that claimed that the ‘protests’ were ‘peaceful’.

The Other Side film posted by Instant Bollywood for whitewashing Red Fort siege
More propaganda from Instant Bollywood
Instant Bollywood hailing tractor rally

The user comments on these posts were limited by the social media account.

Who is Simi Deol?

According to a ‘sponsored’ Financial Express report, Simi moved from the US to India and founded Instant Bollywood in 2012. The report claimed that Instant Bollywood is the largest Bollywood based Instagram Channel. In a report in Indian Express, that is also sponsored, it was mentioned that Simi, who is a Psychology graduate, moved to India after getting married. There is not much information available about Simi Deol.

Simi has very little social media presence herself and her Internet footprint is also quite limited to sponsored content published by Indian Express in 2019. Around same time another ‘profile‘ of hers was published by some media blog called ‘popdiaries’, which was subsequently republished by Yahoo.

Instant Bollywood’s trademark and the domain is under Shabir Momin’s name

Though Instant Bollywood is registered as a Sole Proprietorship firm under Simi’s name, interestingly, the domain name InstantBollywood.com is under one Singapore based individual Shabir Momin, founder of ZengaTV and several others.

Source: DomainTools

The logo and trademark application of Instant Bollywood is also under Shabir’s name in April 2020.

Source: QuickCompany.in

It is unclear what is the connection between Simi Deol and Shabir Momin.

Amongst other things, Instant Bollywood also handles social media marketing of various films. Simi Deol’s earliest internet footprint is of July 2018. Prior to that, despite running such a successful company, she had very little presence. Even after that, other than the sponsored content and her ‘success story’ very little is known of her.

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

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