Pakistani users flood Twitter with #ModiKillingKashmiris

Activists protest the scrapping of Article 370 at Azad Maidan on Wednesday.

Activists protest the scrapping of Article 370 at Azad Maidan on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Officials from cybercrime agencies say over 1.58 lakh tweets from across the border were posted with the hashtag

Following the Centre’s announcement to scrap special status for Jammu and Kashmir and split the State into two Union Territories, Indian cybercrime agencies have been mapping an increasing trend of messages with inflammatory content and hashtags being allegedly tweeted from across the border. On Tuesday, 1.58 lakh tweets were posted with the hashtag #ModiKillingKashmiris.

Cybercrime officials said the origin of the tweets were traced to Pakistan. While some users had mentioned their location in their bios, others were traced with the help of geo-mapping tools. A cybercrime officer said, “So far, we have traced the users to locations like Islamabad, Lahore, Punjab, Karachi, Sargodha, Sialkot, Multan, Peshawar, Bahawalnagar, Sahiwal, Sindh, Chachro and Jhang Sadar in Pakistan. There were a few tweets from the United Arab Emirates as well. There are also some accounts from Pakistan but with Indian names, which were aimed at misleading people.”

The hashtag soared to the top of Twitter’s trending list on Tuesday, with as many as 351 tweets being posted within a span of 10 minutes. The tweets, according to a study by cybercrime officials, reached 3.90 lakh people, were retweeted over 27,000 times and received more than 75,000 likes. The officer said, “Of the total impressions made in the 10-minute span, 12.5% were the actual tweets, 86% were retweets, 1.5% were replies.”

Another source said the investigation so far indicates a concerted attempt to flood the cyberspace with inflammatory content and spread it by relying on the tendency of Twitter users to blindly retweet without going through the content of messages. A few tweets put out by the perpetrators on Tuesday mentioned that the Indian authorities had committed a huge number of alleged atrocities against the people of Kashmir.

A source, who is part of the investigation, said, “The content and hashtags are decided beforehand by a large group of perpetrators. Once this is finalised, it is circulated far and wide with the use of messaging applications like Telegram. Then the tweets with the hashtags are posted en masse.”

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:22:55 AM |

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