The recent sting operation done by Cobrapost, to expose the underbelly of social media in the form of #OperationBlueVirus seems to be gaining further momentum. According to Outlook, last Saturday Police had lodged an FIR against some IT firms on a complaint based on the sting operation carried out by Cobrapost.
The FIR has been lodged by IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, who alleged that many IT companies were making “criminal” and “improper” use of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. to sway the minds of common people and electorate and hence to cheat them. The FIR has also listed those firms that are managing the online campaign for BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for the forthcoming general elections.
The FIR was lodged under relevant sections of IPC, IT Act and Representation of People’s Act.
The undercover operation which was targeting two dozen companies which are running their shady business of social media brand building and online reputation management doesn’t expose anything spectacular. The operation reveals how several social media agencies are working day and night to buy fake followers, remove negative sentiments of the opposition, post content from different foreign locations and so on and so forth. A fact that is pretty much known in the Indian social media circles.
However, the operation has enabled the present government to help bring social media under the law. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who has endorsed the claims made by the Cobrapost is also trying to get more details on the issue of misuse of social media platforms from security agencies. The minister recently stated, “I had raised these issues in the recent Intelligence Bureau conference. My worry is being proved right.”
Stay tuned, we are going to witness some more developments on the after effects of the Cobrapost sting operation.