Are bots behind Rahul Gandhi's surging Twitter popularity? Congress disagrees

Cheryl Sanders
October 21, 2017

"When nothing worked for Rahul Gandhi - neither lame jokes nor fake news - he has finally taken refuge in bots", he said in another tweet. As per the report, the tweet quickly reached 20,000 retweets and now has touched 30,000. The party's social media insider said that the increased engagement has been made possible by methods like the party facilitating "verification" of its leaders from Twitter. In a piece for DailyO in June previous year, Lal took instances of three hashtags to show how Prime Minister Modi's visits trended on Twitter. Users from Suphan Buri again featured tenth in making #ModiInMexico trend.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani took to the microblogging website to suggest that the retweets were from fake accounts overseas.

Gandhi has been hitting back since the controversy erupted over Jay Shah's business, referring to him as "Shah-Zada". Of late he has been quite sarcastic on Twitter, targeting PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on issues like demonetization, surgical strikes and GST.

Irani, who has often launched both veiled and direct attacks on Rahul through her Twitter posts, was peeved at the Congress president red-flagging the purported gag order by an Ahmedabad court against The Wire which prohibits the news portal from publishing any articles about Jay Shah.

And presenting the queen of fake followers having 60% (2.8 million) fake followers.

Cambridge Analytica was in the news during the US Presidential election cycle past year for advising Donald Trump in precision voter targeting based on online habits of voters in different states.

Head of the Congress's social media team Divyaspandana said, "Story is factually wrong". She asked to get clarification from twitter about the use of bots.

BJP's Amit Malviya, in-charge of the party's national Information and Technology, tweeted saying: "Rahul Gandhi should have known that popularity can't be bought, certainly not from Russia, Kazakhstan". The party has also rejected Congress allegations of crony capitalism. "Congress' social media dream aborted?"

Other reports by iNewsToday