Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah faces hacking pinch before social media launch

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
Express News Service | Bangalore | Posted: July 15, 2014 2:48 pm

Even before he can take his first baby steps into the world of social media, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has found his accounts on Facebook and Twitter hacked and a fake Whatsapp account doing the rounds in his name. Officials in the chief minister’s office have written to Twitter and have lodged a complaint with a telecom service provider about the fake Whatsapp account being run in his name.

While accounts have been created for Siddaramaiah on Facebook and Twitter, both in his personal capacity and as the Congress chief minister of Karnataka, these have not been officially launched since Siddaramaiah’s advisers have suggested a launch on his birthday on August 12.

Even as the Facebook and Twitter accounts are being incubated for official launch, the chief minister’s media and publicity team have found that a few posts on his trial Facebook account have been mysteriously linked to his Twitter account resulting in Facebook posts appearing as tweets.

Officials in the chief minister media and publicity unit said that a communication had been sent to Twitter to help in identifying who is involved in the hacking of Siddaramaiah’s Twitter account.

Meanwhile, a Whatsapp account touted as the Chief Minister’s account has been disowned by his media team as being a fake. The fake Whatsapp account of the chief minister has been putting out various messages including a recent one where it was claimed that the Siddaramaiah government was going to develop 135 slums in Bangalore at a cost of Rs 2000 crores.

The telecom service provider Airtel when contacted by the CM’s office to identify the operators of the fake Whatsapp account have reported that the account was being operated from Shivajinagar in central Bangalore.

The Karnataka chief minister decided to take the social media plunge immediately after the Lok Sabha elections when he realised that the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi created momentum for their parliament poll campaign by harnessing social media networks.

Soon after the elections Siddaramaiah had stated at a meeting with some of his close associates that he would be creating social media accounts. His media team had begun the process of creating the accounts and testing them ahead of official launch.

With his personal accounts and the official chief minister accounts on social media running into problems Siddaramaiah on Monday launched a social media presence for the state information and publicity department on Twitter and Facebook and said that he would soon appear on social media as well.

“Even I want to use social media. We have to keep up with developments in technology. The information department has done it, even I have to do it. It improves communication between the government and people,” Siddaramaiah said.

“Everybody has seen how some people have used social media to become popular,” he said in a veiled reference to Modi’s successful use of the social media for politics and governance.

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