Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitter

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by happy, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    New Delhi: An undercover operation by Cobrapost has exposed how IT companies in India are using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help politicians artificially boost their popularity, gain followers and engage in smear campaigns.

    In a sting operation named 'Operation Blue Virus' conducted by the web portal, Cobrapost exposed about two dozen such companies which are running the shady business of online reputation management, Editor Aniruddha Bahal said in a media release on Friday.

    Among other things, the IT companies offered their clients a fake following on Facebook and Twitter, and indulged in negative publicity against a political leader or a party, or a corporate house, at the behest of their opposite camp, for money.

    [​IMG]

    Bahal said his colleague and Associate Editor Syed Masroor Hasan posed as a front man for a fictitious politician from an opposition party, and approached over two dozen IT companies to engage them in an image building exercise on social media before the assembly elections. He also entrusted them with the task of destroying the opponent's reputation with negative publicity to help 'Netaji' win not only assembly election with a handsome margin but also his party president's trust, to pave the way for a Lok Sabha ticket in 2014, and then a Cabinet berth. Money is no constraint.

    Bahal claimed that the companies offered the following services:

    - They would generate fake following on Netaji's Facebook page, running into lakhs, by creating fake profiles or buying likes from the community of netizens.

    - They would create a good fan-following on Twitter, by buying packages of followers.

    - They would not allow a negative comment to appear on Facebook page.

    - They would do negative publicity against Netaji's opponent, employing methods not necessarily ethical or legal.

    - They would post the negative content online from countries such as the United States or Korea, to avoid detection of its source.

    - They would use assembled computers for negative campaign and destroy them after the project is over.

    - They would use proxy codes on their computers such that their locations change every hour, making detection impossible.

    - They would create fake profiles of Muslims to engage Muslims and change their views about Netaji and his party.

    - They offered to make the promotional videos go viral on YouTube.

    - They would put at Netaji's disposal an in-house database of voters, categorized according to their vocation, area of residence, age, income level and religion.

    - They would use offshore IPs and servers to avoid tracing of the source of online content.

    - They would hack into the computers of other individuals for posting defamatory content using their IPs

    - They would use Internet-based messaging system to circumvent TRAI regulations on mass SMS. This they would do using short codes instead of actual phone numbers to mask the identity of the sender.

    - They would accept payments only in cash to avoid paper trail to ensure that no connection is established between them and their client.

    The portal alleged that an IT professional, Bipin Pathare, not only promised to give them a booth-wise demographics of voters to help them with booth management but also not hesitate to detonate a bomb, or spread rumours of a riot situation, forcing Muslim voters to remain indoors on polling day, thus leaving ample scope for bogus voting.

    Bahal quoted Pathare as saying that he helped one Praveen Jara win election by intimidating and disenfranchising Muslim voters. Bahal also named Abhishek Kumar, who he claimed is working for Campaign Modi on social media, is planning to make a defamatory content on Rahul Gandhi to go viral on social media a few days before elections.

    Priyadarshan Pathak, another online reputation management professional exposed in Operation Blue Virus, agreed to start a smear campaign against a fictitious company for Rs. 92000. The portal said the campaign included expletives, complete with cartoons and caricatures, and allegations, among others, of money laundering, allowing terrorist to use its equipment and defrauding its passengers in the name of charity.

    Cobrapost on the legal options

    Many of these practices constitute a crime under the ambit of existing laws such as the Indian Penal Code, the Information Technology Act 2000, the Income Tax Act 1961 and the Representation of the People Act 1951.

    For instance, publication of negative comments or derogatory jokes constitutes an act of defamation and as such is punishable under the IPC; the use of fake IDs to get Internet connection or domain name not only constitutes cheating by personation and cheating to dishonestly induce delivery of a property but also constitutes forgery and as such is punishable under various sections of the IPC, namely, Sections 419, 420 and 465.

    Transmission of information that is grossly offensive or is of a menacing character or transmission of information which is known to be false to cause annoyance, inconvenience, insult and injury is also punishable under Section 66A of the IT Act 2000.

    Hacking is punishable under Section 66 of the IT Act. Acts like detonating a bomb in minority locality or spread of rumour of such threat with purported objective of stopping them from exercising their electoral rights is punishable under Section 125 of the RPA 1951, so is booth capturing under Section 135A of the Act.

    Even discussing booth capturing or buying votes would constitute evidence of conspiracy to commit the said offence under Section 120B of the IPC. Cash transactions constitute a willful attempt to evade tax and are punishable under Section 276 of the IT Act, so is concealment of such transactions involving falsification of books of accounts under Section 277A.

    The website also claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party is leading from the front in its social media campaign, if the claims of the companies exposed are to be believed, so is its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, with scores of companies working overtime for him.

    Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitter
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Now this is something I had suspected long time back. My suspicions grew stronger with Narendra Modi's LinkedIn profile. I thought it was the work of Modi-fan trolls, but now I see it might as well be companies employed to do this.

    Interesting stuff.
     
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  4. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Rahul/Gandhi&sa=U&ei=UUqYUr-bM4aOrQenoYGIDw&ved=0CCYQFjAA&usg=AFQjCNG86Wn04J-jNCPR_dRbCWHaBqLSyg
    ~
    so what is this?
     
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  5. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Main stream Media is doing the same. What is the difference?
    Isn't cobra post itself is congrass stooge?Which is owned ex Tehelke ex-employee?
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    I am not defending Rahul Gandhi. That's my point exactly. All PM wannabes are the same.
     
  7. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Instead of paid media now we are seeing technology being used. Congress also sanctioned Rs. 100 crores in the Jaipur convention for this purpose only.

    Best of luck to all, money in the economy good news for everybody.
     
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  8. ramakrishna

    ramakrishna Regular Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Con"grass" love that word ... HAHA ... ROFL ...
     
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  9. ramakrishna

    ramakrishna Regular Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    but RaGa will lead the list with idiotic way ...
     
  10. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    this is scary.............
     
  11. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    This is how India generates one of the highest amount of spam in the world. 60% of the computers still run pirated windows XP without security updates, despite microsoft extending those updates to pirated copies.
     
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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Great!

    Morality cast out of the window!

    Most shocking.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Kapil Sibal said he ha no shares in Tehelka, but the books show he has 80 shares.

    He also forgot to mention that he had given Rs 5 Lakhs out of sheer goodness of his heart to promote freedom of speech and the press!

    He is a moving spin miester!

    But ensures his reputation is clean with selective sound bites! ;)

    And he prevents others this luxury with his faconian IT Law!

    Looks a total Lala, firendly Pansari selling junk at an exhoribitent cut throat price, but with a all 32 flashing smile!
     
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  14. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Sir, is there no legal framework that can tackle these activities?? Don't they come under cyber crimes ??

    For the common man, India is a great country. But once you start getting your share of the pie, then you really grasp the sinister mechanisms that encompass all activities :(
     
  15. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Perhaps,one needs to file a Public Interest Litigation !

    A crime is not a crime until and unless one reports it to Authorities ! - This is specific to our nation only :sarc:
     
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  16. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Well daily people say lot of things on net, most of the things we dont even remember, people can take advantage of this. It will be scary if this happen later on you can make all sorts of complaint for cyber crimes etc. By the time MM would found out that you are not guilty all the things like taking bail etc will take toll on common man.
     
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  17. iNDiAN.96

    iNDiAN.96 Nationalist Senior Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    I posted this two-three months ago about how congress using bots in social media to defame opponents.
    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...-2014-bigfight-social-media-3.html#post776441

    As a web developer I did some research at that time and found some info on various Anti- Modi websites which were made by Delhi based IT company.
    Then found many fake accounts who posts anti-modi tweets to trend one particular topic are also follows the IT company's twitter account. And those fake twitter accounts also follows Pawan Khera of Congress.

    Some images:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I am also active in social media, but I am not paid by anyone. Where is my cheque Modi???? :fkidding:
     
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  18. happy

    happy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Well, not entirely. We have seen instances when courts take up issues suo moto
     
  19. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    Not a rocket science to find out.

    Anyhow why would someone take this congress-I mouth piece cobra post seriously. They have done what they were suppose to do by mentioning BJP in the middle of the article. Congress-I name was kept out of it conveniently. Not to mention their mention of faking muslim supporters. Every single paragraph is drafted well for the right purpose, now it is left for main stream media to nitpick reference from it on different debates to defend Congress-I.

    BTW the kind of comments are published on NDTV website have been seen spewing venom with extreme prejudice against BJP by congress-I supporters on the other hand BJP supporters are seen defending most the time with whatever logic they can afford. It tells a lot about who is genuine using more brain cells than non genuine troll busy only in name calling and highly biased. Feku word appears more than Pappu once or never. Mention of Gujarat riot never fails on any news article, like no one hindu in India care why it started in the first place. Then Godwin's law is everyday causality.

    Even in this very forum there are couple of posters who only appear on thread related to Modi just to post pictures and cartoons derogatory to him; never seen on other threads.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
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  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    All political parties seem to be action or so it appears, if one is to believe Bahal who was on Nidhi Razdan's show.

    However, notwithstandig what he said on the TV show, his article did not coer the other political parties dirty tricks dept actions.

    An article to be credible should have a balanced view and yet pursue the aim/ agenda desired.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
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  21. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Re: Cobrapost: For Rs 92,000 you can destroy reputations on FB, Twitte

    If you ask me, I found many real accounts supporting Modi.
     

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