The startup circle in India has been abuzz with news that one of its most infamous 'troll' has finally been uncovered. The name Unicon Baba is always met with dread in the circle, everyone hoping not to be at the receiving end of his savage takedowns.
Uncion Baba has been associated with one of the most ruthless trolling of the Indian startup world. The real identity of Unicon Baba has been a topic of conversation at almost every startup event. The notoriousTwitter handle (uni_con1) has been active since March 2016, and many in the startup circle have been a target of Unicon Baba‚Äôs unsparing tweets. Over the past year, he has garnered 9,300 followers and counting.
But the question that has tormented all remains‚Äďwho is Unicon Baba?
A Facebook post by Vijay Anand, founder at The Startup Centre, who has also been at the receiving end of Unicon Baba‚Äôs barbs, claims that he has indeed unearthed Uncion Baba‚Äôs identity.
In a post titled, ‚ÄúThe Not-so Secret Identity of Twitter Troll: Unicon Baba‚Äô, Vijay recounted the process of uncovering Baba‚Äôs identity.
Vijay Anand, also a startup advisor and mentor, runs an email newsletter. Vijay was alerted by a friend that whenever he sent out a newsletter, it was followed by a tweet from Unicon Baba. This coincidence piqued Vijay‚Äôs curiosity and he deduced that Unicon Baba was also a subscriber to his email newsletter. He, then went on to segment his newsletter batches by time and figured out the batch whose timings matched with Unicon Baba‚Äôs tweet timing.
‚ÄúI believe big time in building cohorts of the email database based on origin and we do send them in batches, since we can tweak them for open rates and also edit (in case something goes out wrong). So at some point I identified the batch that seemed to trigger the activity,‚ÄĚ he said in the post.
He then went to Twitter and tried to reset the password of the Uncion Baba Twitter handle. That led him to an e-mail address created specifically for Twitter use.
‚ÄúOn first impression: the dude has managed to create a separate email address for it. But the weak link, Gmail always asks you to setup a retrieval email address - and that usually ends up being their personal address (even trolls are lazy),‚ÄĚ he said.
So he tried Gmail, where he tried to reset the password of firstname.lastname@example.org (the email address used by Unicon Baba). This led him to the partially masked id email@example.com. Vijay then tried to find a match with his own newsletter database. And he found a match with an email id called firstname.lastname@example.org.
It turned out to be Rajan Gupta, director at U2opia Mobile and the CEO and co-founder of Zappka.
Vijay Anand says he emailed Rajan confronting him about this.
‚ÄúI sent him an email. No response. Gave him an hour heads up before going public. I wanted to give him a chance to explain all the abuses being hurled. But nope. Nothing yet,‚ÄĚ Vijay told The News Minute.
TNM tried recovering Rajan‚Äôs email ID in a similar way the same night Vijay posted this and it showed us the same results
We tried several other email IDs, which it said was wrong until the right one worked
However, on Friday morning, Unicon Baba tweeted mocking Vijay‚Äôs ‚Äėmasterstroke‚Äô.
Another follower of Unicon Baba then claimed that any email ID would work to be able to receive a verification code and retrieve your email ID.
This was not what happen when we tried it the previous night. When we tried again on Friday morning, the recovery process had changed. While previously it had only asked us to enter the full email id for email@example.com, it now asks for a security question about when the account was created and asks to enter any email ID. Post which, it said that Google could not verify your account.
However, many have come to Unicon Baba's rescue. Several tweets have emerged claiming the same thing: That any email ID can be entered and it works.
We reached out to Rajan Gupta but he has not responded so far to our calls or text messages.
So is Rajan Gupta Unicon Baba? The jury is still out.