Central ministers turn bots, put out identical tweets to prove ‘Demonetisation Success’

Big fail for their social media cell!
Central ministers turn bots, put out identical tweets to prove ‘Demonetisation Success’
Central ministers turn bots, put out identical tweets to prove ‘Demonetisation Success’
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The Central government proudly announced on Wednesday that 99% of the demonetised system had been returned to RBI. Much to their dismay however, the statistic was used to rip apart the logic on which demonetisation was initiated. Here’s a glimpse:

With flak piling on to the notebandi exercise on social media, the centre’s ministers came to the rescue and tweeted their two cents about how demonetisation was a success.

Except that there was one problem: all the tweets were completely identical.

Almost like… what internet bots what do. 

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Lok Sabha MP Om Birla were among the ones who tweeted, “Demonetisation attained its objective of making India a less cash economy reducing black money flow in the system. #DemonetisationSuccess”

Check out these screenshots posted by Twitter user @shrinivasssg.

Other central ministers used the same hashtag and tweeted about the Narendra Modi App.

This wasn’t all. There were scores of user Twitter accounts (bots?) tweeting the exact same thing. A majority of these were tweeted between4am and 6.30am on Thursday. If you notice, It was also during this time period that the ministers’ tweets also went out.

Here's another screenshot by Twitter user @divyaspandana -

This isn’t the first time the government has employed such social media campaigns. Karnika Kohli’s report in The Wire reveals how bots went after “media’s one sided coverage” of the Gorakhpur tragedy which left 70 infants dead at BRD Medical College. All of them tweeted with the hashtag “Truth of Gorakhpur” and argued that blaming UP CM Yogi Adityanath was not rational.

They also resorted, in more identical tweets, about how there had been deaths during Akhilesh Yadav’s tenure as CM.

In both cases, there hashtags used began trending soon. Karnika calls this forced trending and explained how it worked: “Usually brands and political parties hire PR agencies who employ social media ‘influencers’. These influencers run multiple social media handles and usually have a huge following. They are provided a brief about the campaign that contains some sample tweets, a list of people they should attack, the timing of the tweets, etc.”

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