It is no news that political parties use social media to spread their propaganda and manipulate the users. Facebook, for example, was under scrutiny last year when it was revealed that Trump and his followers used social media to harm communal peace. In India, BJP is also using an app to tamper with social media trends as a recent investigation has revealed.

Tek Fog – App Used By BJP

Tek Fog is a secret application that has a number of alarming features. Firstly, the app can be used to hack into dormant WhatsApp accounts and message their contacts.

Through this, the personal information of people can be uploaded on a cloud database without their knowledge, which makes a potential target for harassment later in the future.

Moreover, there is an extensive database of the citizens that have been classified according to their occupation, religion, language, age, gender, and political preferences.

Even physical attributes have not been spared. Now, you can select a category and send them bulk messages with a key phrase, which are mostly derogatory or abusive in nature.

How it tampers with social media trends is that it uses the app’s automation feature to auto-share and auto-retweet the posts with required hashtags until that hashtag starts trending on top. When a certain hashtag becomes top trending, the wider public believes that to be the opinion of the majority of citizens. So, it manipulates the public.

The investigation revealed that on May 4th 2020, one of the operatives was tasked with the responsibility of making the hashtag #CongressAgainstLabourers top trending.

tek fog

The goal was to include the hashtag in at least 55,000 tweets. By 9 PM, 57,000 tweets had this hashtag and it was successfully top trending.

The app is designed in a manner that it doesn’t leave any traces. If a person wants to eliminate any proof of tampering, they can do so within minutes.

Read More: Here’s How You Can Check Whether Your Source Of News Is Legit Or Biased

Usage By BJP

Congress President Rahul Gandhi recently said, “Looking at the young age of the accused in the BulliBaiApp case, the entire country is asking where does so much hatred come from. In fact, BJP has set up many factories of hate. Tek Fog is one of them.

Congress has asked the Supreme Court to launch a probe into the matter and take the required action.

An anonymous Twitter account whose user claimed to be an ex-employee of BJP’s IT cell first mentioned the app in April 2020. The investigation was started by the Wire after reaching out to her.

Tampering with social media trends and manipulating the public narrative harms the social fabric of democracy as complex as ours. It is true that you should not believe everything that you see on social media blindly.

It is already difficult to discern facts and lies. Such apps make it nearly impossible.

Sources: The Print, The Wire, Tribune India

Image Sources: Google Images

Find The Blogger: @TinaGarg18

This post is tagged under: tek fog, bjp, bhartiya janata party, twitter, twitter trends, trending, social media, social media tampering, manipulating public, politics, political propaganda, hacking whatsapp, #CongressAgainstLabourers

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