Most of our politicians from all major parties are on Twitter now, and honestly, social media has become such a big platform for campaigns with parties directly trolling each other, and it has personally given me a lot of second-hand embarrassment.
And since Twitter has become the biggest way for the government to spread their agenda, someone figured out a way to literally control the tweets on Union Ministers' account, and it doesn't even look that hard, tbh.
Pratik Sinha, the co-founder of Alt News, made a Twitter thread about how a Google Doc circulated by the BJP's IT cell which contained all the quotes and tweets which are then posted by all the ministers was somehow changed.
Basically, someone hacked in and messed with the text which resulted in a bunch of tweets criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the tweets came from BJP itself. Yep, it's one of the greatest pranks of all time.
How do you get a Union Minister to tweet what you want? Well, you go and edit the trending document made by BJP IT cell, and then you control what they tweet. Thread.
Here's the video of this morning when their trending document got automagically updated :-)
Ooh, that's brutal.February 13, 2019
This seems too easy to be true, tbh.February 13, 2019
Seriously though, does no one read before tweeting? Even if they are just copy pasting?
You can get all IT cell coolies to tweet that Modi govt has destroyed all villages in India. Or that Modi Govt has made women a slave of "à¤§à¥à¤à¤"/cooking"
And, it's not just funny, but also very important.
For eg, in the past, @PonnaarrBJP tweeted that bringing 'down' approval time "600 to 1800" is an improvement. No one noticed this. Because they didn't know that they were tweeting from an edited document even back then.
Always keep the receipts.February 13, 2019
Wow, just wow.
Yes, this also happened ;-)
"Dishonesty and lack of transparency is..." pic.twitter.com/FlJaDBVEVJ
The best kind of promotion?
Once, we also made them recommend that people should start reading Alt News. pic.twitter.com/JnXqB1Z1sF— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) February 13, 2019
I honestly just have one word for this - brilliant. But, it's also kind of scary how easily misinformation can be spread, how easy it is to hack and control an entire Twitter campaign. Hope this serves as a wake-up call for better security around these Google Docs, though I really doubt it's going to make any difference.