Social media has emerged as a grave threat for the society and the countries as it is being misused by terrorist groups political parties and rival countries to subvert democracies.
Social media has overthrown presidents, dictatorships and even defamed political parties with the use of false propaganada.It has been the force for many revolutions including ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and the Arab Spring etc.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has been using social media to influence voters since 2014 Lok Sabha elections and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has his own social media team since 2011 that carefully scripted communication strategy to promote Modi as the tallest leader of BJP and RSS.
BJP has been using each and every digital platforms i.e. social media,mobile, internet.And this time in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP will use Narendra Modi app to deliver targeted messaging to voters.Due to demonetisation,some million people who were forced to purchase cell phones for digital payments will also be targeted through apps,social media and messaging by the BJP members in the coming 2019 Lok Sabha elections .
It is a powerful tool that led to a surge in terrorism activities across the West and the global terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Levant used it for propaganda,recruitment and even aspired followers to carry out attacks .But there are reports that several ISIS linked Twitter accounts in Arabic language that are existing such as “Sniper Caliphate # 9 remain” and “Abu stubbornness Salafi.”
United States founded the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) in 2011 to counter online jihadist propaganda.
FBI term the members of the social media cell of the terror groups as legion and Europe witnessed numerous deadly lone wolf attacks such as the Nice truck massacre; the Wuerzburg axe attack; the Ansbach bombing; the Reutlingen machete murder; and the Rouen church killing.
Director of Applied Network Analysis and System Science for public policy research firm RAND Elizabeth Bodine-Baron stated that apart from using twitter, the ISIS strategy has shifted to using highly secretive encrypted apps like Telegram for terror plots worldwide.
The fanatics behind the Berlin and Nice truck attacks had communicated via the app, as had the Paris attackers who killed 130 people in November 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of spying on his citizens through his office’s official smartphone app.
A security researcher, tweeting under the pseudonym Eliott Alderson, has said Indians’ personal data was sent to a third party’s server in the US without prior permission.The app asks for too many permissions, is less than ideally secure, and is run by the BJP while being positioned as the official application of the prime minister of India.
Anderson posted a series of tweets over the weekend with screenshots of code that supposedly detail the data privacy breach of the app, which has been downloaded by at least 5m Android users.
The BJP has denied any of the data sharing allegations and defended the app, saying the harvested data is being used “only for analytics”.On the contrary, BJP has accused the Congress party of using Cambridge Analytica in India in the wake of the recent Facebook scandal.
The data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica ,owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer has worked with Donald Trump’s election team by harvesting millions of Facebook profiles of US voters and further influenced choices at the ballot boxes.Now the question is being asked whether there was involvement of Russians using Facebook, Google and Twitter to influence Britain’s exit from the European Union.
On the contrary, in India,there is no outside country or force which is influencing voters,it is the political parties especially the BJP which is seen using the online apparatus very aggressively and strategically and even used to popularise Hate crimes in India for instance on the occasion of Ram Navami, RSS men showcased a tableau in Jodhpur in Rajasthan which was dedicated to Shambu Lal Rajgar, the man who brutally murdered a Bengali Muslim labourer in Rajsamand district in Rajasthan.
Cambridge Analytica is also accused of interfering in elections on a very broad canvas such as in Nigeria and Kenya,Therefore,it is imperative that people should be cautious enough when voters are being exploited online by various political parties and should avoid living in an illusion fostered by falsehoods.
One should question Prime Minister Narendra Modi what is the need for strategy to win the elections in the country when the BJP believes that it is for development than they should leave it to the decision of the people and not on BJP President AMit Shah to devise strategies for registering election victory and thereafter congregating the MPs and MLAs (horse-trading) for acquiring numbers while in minority.