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BJP’s pro-Citizenship Amendment Act number heats up Twitter

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Several accounts try to lure users offering fake Netflix discount, or posing as women.

From free Netflix subscriptions to chats and dates with ‘lonely women’, a variety of “services” were advertised by Twitter handles by Saturday, inviting people to call 88662-88662. The only catch was that the number was the one announced by the BJP two days earlier, seeking calls from members of the public supportive of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

By Saturday evening, the number of Tweets with the alluring offers had snowballed. One handle even claimed that the number belonged to Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt and that those who were “free” could “talk to a celebrity.”

Amid ongoing protests against the CAA, which fast-tracks citizenship for the specific minorities of Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists who fled persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan, the BJP had launched the dial-in campaign to mobilise support for the law.

In a tweet on Thursday, the BJP’s official handle (@BJP4India), asked people to give a missed call on 88662-88662 to register their support for CAA. While many BJP leaders also shared the number, other users on Twitter used it for different purposes.

“This is absolutely fake,” U.S.-based online streaming provider Netflix tweeted on Saturday, reacting to the tweets about free subscriptions to its service. “If you want free Netflix please use someone else’s account like the rest of us,” the Netflix India account replied to a tweet that promised a 6-month free subscription. A few Twitter users tried to dissuade people from calling the number, raising the spectre of a data breach, and theft of bank details, Aadhaar and PAN numbers.

Asked to comment about the use of the number for other purposes, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh told The Hindu that the “IT cell will have to look into it”.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 5:43:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjps-pro-citizenship-amendment-act-number-heats-up-twitter/article30480648.ece

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