Fake Twitter accounts of K Sivan trick millions, ISRO issues alerthttps://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/fake-twitter-accounts-of-k-sivan-trick-millions-isro-issues-alert-5980123/

Fake Twitter accounts of K Sivan trick millions, ISRO issues alert

Dozens of fake accounts operating under the name of ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan tricked millions of people. ISRO issued a notification to clarify that ISRO chief does not have a social media account.

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Fake K Sivan Twitter accounts garnered millions of followers.

Amid a flurry of Twitter accounts, including that of ISRO chairman K Sivan, claiming to post updates on India’s Chandrayaan-2 moon mission, the space agency Monday clarified that information on these accounts is not authentic.

Following the events of September 7, when the Indian space agency lost contact with the Vikram Lander, a fake account of Sivan garnered more than 40,000 followers and dozens more fake accounts popped up using his name and picture.

“It has been noted that social media accounts in the name of Kailasavadivoo Sivan (along with photographs of K. Sivan) are operational and active on social media platforms. This is to clarify that K. Sivan, Chairman, ISRO does not have any personal account on any social media platforms. Hence all the information on all such accounts are not authentic,” the space agency said in a statement.

ISRO has official account on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The space agency has urged the people not to follow any other account claiming to be authentic.

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The agency provided links to its official social platforms on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as well. The username of the agency on Twitter (2.8 million followers) and Facebook (2.4 million followers) is “ISRO” whereas the YouTube channel is by the name ‘ISRO Official’.

ISRO’s verified Twitter account has 2.8 million followers, the Facebook account is also verified with 2.4 million followers, whereas the YouTube account is not verified but it has 3,34,767 subscribers at the moment.

 

Thousands of Twitter users fell for the fake Kalisavadivoo Sivan (full name of ISRO chairman) accounts as well as fake ISRO accounts including celebrities. Retweets from accounts having major following helped these accounts to grow even faster. Soon after garnering followers, most of these accounts have changed their name as well as the user ID.

A Twitter user @shivraj_Office copied ISRO’s display picture and changed its name to ISRO Official Update. It is still tweeting Chandrayaan-2 updates and hasn’t changed its name yet. Earlier posts by the account claim that it belongs to Assembly in charge- BJYM IT Cell, division Bhinmal.

Also read | Chandrayaan-2: Vikram lander in single piece, in a tilted position, says ISRO official

The fake account @KailasavadivooS with 40,000 followers has been changed to @FilmyBox_Office. The name and profile picture has also been changed. All the other fake accounts were either deleted or they have changed their names and username as well.