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.
Here are some other posts.
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.
An instagram account of bollywood PR @instantbolly with more than 6 million followers has been running their propoganda since a long time, it needs to be reported.@ExSecular @Theintrepid_ @TheAngryLord @BefittingFacts @Sharanyashettyy @coolfunnytshirt @ThePlacardGuy pic.twitter.com/UUpeaxPAPn— Kitty March (@ScarletStreetAv) January 27, 2021
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.’
Thread on anti-India anti-Gov anti-Hindu anti-RW blue tick Bollywood portal @instantbolly funded by LW&India’s enemies that runs their propaganda 24*7 to brainwash&mislead 6.3 million+ vulnerable Indians&instigates ri0ts&hate against Gov,RW& @KanganaTeam!@centerofright @LegalLro pic.twitter.com/jZsQm3BlR2— Gayatri (@Gayatr1_) January 27, 2021
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.
2)25 IG stories~Thread on anti-India anti-Gov anti-Hindu anti-RW blue tick Bollywood portal @instantbolly funded by LW&India’s enemies that runs their propaganda24*7 in garb of Bolly updates to brainwash&mislead 6.3million vulnerable Indians&cause ri0ts@coolfunnytshirt @swati_gs pic.twitter.com/X6U0Z0taO4— Gayatri (@Gayatr1_) January 27, 2021
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.
3)Thread🔛anti-India anti-Gov anti-Hindu anti-RW bluetick @instantbolly Bolly portal funded by LW&India’s enemies that runs 24*7 propaganda to brainwash&mislead 6.3 M+ vulnerable Indians&instigates ri0ts&hate against Gov&RW @M_Lekhi @BefittingFacts @TajinderBagga @theskindoctor13 pic.twitter.com/fmA7G1aBtc— Gayatri (@Gayatr1_) January 27, 2021
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.
5)Thread~Instigation of ri0ts&huge anti-India anti-Gov anti-RW propaganda carried out by 6.3M+ follower bluetick IG page that wears facade of Bolly updates.If IG goes unregulated&hate factory traitor portal isnt penalised,India will suffer @GemsOfBollywood @ErayCr @KreatelyMedia pic.twitter.com/c1EsqJXryU— Gayatri (@Gayatr1_) January 27, 2021
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.”
5)Thread~Anti-India LW 6.3M follower bluetick Bolly portal posted 30 back to back insta stories against Gov,India, RW&Hindus&to incite ri0ts in just 24hours,imagine impact of so many months&years on kids,youth&India that follow it for Bolly @TheAngryLord @delhichatter @desimojito pic.twitter.com/R2UWAKbqIE— Gayatri (@Gayatr1_) January 27, 2021
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.
6)Thread~RW needs to do smthing abt mega anti-India hatefactory🔛insta run in garb of Bolly updates @InstantBollywood(Twitter-@instantbolly)~Been brainwashing 6.3M+Indians from months abt farmer protest instigating ri0ts@SanjeevSanskrit @AMIT_GUJJU @liberal_slayerr @UnSubtleDesi pic.twitter.com/vW7nM0ExiA— Gayatri (@Gayatr1_) January 27, 2021
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.
Other Netizens also demanded action against Instant Bollywood
I urge each and everyone pls report @instantbolly on twitter & instagram (https://t.co/8E2wFVP5hU). They’ve left no effort in spreading these riots. After being trolled hugely by public, they deleted these stories but they managed to spread riots.#RedFortViolence #DelhiRiots pic.twitter.com/rbSDPUUKFX— Prerna Joshi 🌈 (@Prerna_1604) January 27, 2021
Instant Bollywood has also posted against the summons National Investigating Agency sent to several people and organizations to explore their connections to Khalistan organizations.
Fraud bluetick @instantbolly should also be served @NIA_India notice to show its funding source~Has 6.3Mfollowers,been brainwashing millions DAILY against Gov,Kangana,SSR&Arnab.— Gayatri (@Gayatr1_) January 17, 2021
Instrumental in misleading millions&instigating violent Khαlistani protests to cause unrest in country pic.twitter.com/avZgGEL3IL
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 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.
The logo and trademark application of Instant Bollywood is also under Shabir’s name in April 2020.
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.