Congress’ social media strategy: Focus on fighting ‘fake news’

Volunteers of the party have also been asked to get into community WhatsApp groups of their areas so that they ‘call the bluff’ and alert people whenever fake news is posted there. 

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Published:October 11, 2017 2:19 am
Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Congress, Congress on Twitter, Congress Facebook, OfficeofRG, Fake News, BJP, BJP propaganda, Social Media, Social media propaganda, social media strategy, politics and social media, India News, Indian Express File Photo

The Congress, which has often claimed it is on the receiving end of fake news and online trolling, has devised a five-point strategy to deal with the issue on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.  The Delhi Congress’s social media team has been directed to promote news websites and pages that specialise in exposing ‘fake news’ — such as Alt News, SM Hoax Slayer and Boom Fact Check.

Volunteers of the party have also been asked to get into community WhatsApp groups of their areas so that they ‘call the bluff’ and alert people whenever fake news is posted there.  Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee IT Cell head Aniruddh Sharma said, “Politics is a battle of perception and sometimes, by the time one realises what is fake news and what is real, a perception is formed.”

“There are several people who are not active on Facebook and Twitter but are mostly on WhatsApp. Fake news in the form of photoshopped image or edited videos is heavily pushed through WhatsApp, so we have asked our social media warriors and party volunteers to get into groups of Resident Welfare Associations, activists and religious committees organising puja, etc in their ares,” he said.

“They will then be asked to push content created by us — such as graphics and charts — to expose fake news,” he said.  Besides, the social media team has been asked to make a list of profiles that use abuses and intimidation.
Another IT Cell official, who did not wished to be named, said, “We have asked our volunteers to tag senior police officers so that action can be taken against them.”

Volunteers have also been asked to use the ‘report abuse’ option so that Twitter and Facebook can take action.
“There are some profiles against which we cannot do much because they are fake profiles with false names and incorrect details. If you take action, they come back with accounts having other names. So we will focus on profiles with genuine names,” he said.

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