When we think of BJP, the things that come to our minds are their lies & distortions and the riots that they carry out on the basis of those lies and distortions. They have a huge technical team to run all this.
We cannot think little of the BJP’s false propaganda. In 2013, during the riots in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, a fake video was shared by the BJP MLA Sangeet Singh Som. But investigations later revealed that the video was two years old.
But, by then more than 60 people had been killed in the riots triggered by that vicious propaganda and more than 60,000 people lost their homes.
The RSS’s WhatsApp networks are primarily responsible for the mob lynching of Muslims and Dalits in northern states for allegedly smuggling cows and possession of beef. Through this, fake news are spreaded to thousands of people in a short span of time. Fake news play an important role in promoting Hindu fanaticism.
The technical team’s main task is to constantly attack and harass those who criticise the RSS-BJP and the Modi government on social media. Many have reviewed this background of the BJP and have published articles and books. Swati Chaturvedi, a journalist who has been a victim of the BJP’s cyber bullying, published a book called “I Am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP’s Digital Army” after two years of field research on how the BJP do these things.
Even though various parties have their own technical teams, they cannot be compared to the RSS-BJP’s digital army. First, it was the RSS-BJP that was most advanced in using the new technological features of the digital world. Second, they did not use it merely to carry out charismatic propaganda. These advanced technologies are being used to carry out their saffron fascist terrorist activities.
One such app based on advanced technology is the ‘Tek Fog’. It is a secret app that is playing a vital role in the media campaign of the saffron fascists. The app has come to light only after “The Wire” investigated and published a research article on it.
Social media in the hands of fascist
One of the important methods they use to conceptualize people is to hijack the trending segment of Twitter and Facebook with the Tek Fog app. Creating trends in the favour of BJP; Whenever an issue arises against the BJP, they trend something else to divert the people; The RSS-BJP has been trying to woo the democratic forces that oppose the BJP’s anti-people activities by portraying them in a derogatory manner and trending them.
The Tek Fog app uses its in-built automation features to ‘auto-retweet’ or ‘auto-share’ the tweets and posts of individuals or groups. They use Android apps like “Tasker” to automate them. This ‘Tasker’ is an app that helps to automate the applications on the phone.
Therefore, a single person can control even thousands of Twitter and Facebook accounts using a single Tek Fog app. This allows them to easily capture the trending part of Twitter and Facebook for the posts they create.
While addressing the party’s social media volunteers in Rajasthan’s Kota district in 2018, Home Minister Amit Shah had boasted, “We can keep making messages go viral, whether they are real or fake, sweet or sour”. Such power is provided by apps like Tek Fog.
Apart from trending a message in public, Tek Fog can also be used to privately spread fake news to a person. It can also be used to steal a person’s personal data.
The tech team will send a picture or video on WhatsApp by targeting specific people. As soon as the person downloads the image or video, a spyware enters his/her phone and links his/her WhatsApp account to the Tek Fog app. Thereafter, the contact list and personal details on his/her phone will be collected by the Tek Fog app.
They will keep an eye on that person. In case the person has uninstalled WhatsApp from his/her mobile phone or reset the phone, the tech team will know about that. They will be able to take over his/her defunct WhatsApp account and send their fake propaganda messages to everyone on his/her contact list.
Those receiving these messages will start believing that it is shared by someone close to them. But the owner of the account knows nothing about this. The app is designed in such a way, so that all the data would be destroyed in an instant if the owner of the phone has any doubts about it and starts investigating.
People’s view about WhatsApp is not like other social media. They believe it because we only receive messages mostly from people we knew on WhatsApp. Also the reason why people think WhatsApp as reliable is because the company ensures the security of the information through encryption. All of this has now been called into question by the information that has emerged.
The Tek Fog app has a variety of methods to conceptualize people. One of the methods is to twist an article by changing the key words and circulating its link on social media. For instance, taking an article critical of the BJP and changing the word “BJP” into “Congress” and then forwarding it. The page of this bogus article will be as original as the website on which it is originally published so that readers won’t have any doubts over it.
The people come to know about the world through the news and information. In today’s world, not only newspapers and television but also social media plays a greater role in delivering information. Fascist forces take control of these social media into their hands and decide what should be popular among the people, what should the people talk about, and how their likes and dislikes should be. This is something that really threatens us.
Violence unleashed by underworld fascist thugs
They have created and placed an integrated database with this Tek Fog app. In this database, they have collected all kinds of personal details, including the occupation, religion, language, age, gender, political inclination and even physical attributes like skin tone and breast size of the individuals being monitored by them.
Using this database they will first learn the personal details of the people they are targeting for harassment. They would then be subjected to torture from various accounts managed by the Tek Fog app by sending them obscene and derogatory messages. To understand its cruelty, if it’s a woman journalist who is being targeted by the saffron fascists, they know exactly what her breast size is and will be harassed by sending obscene messages based on that.
This database is used by them to target and attack all those who are against the BJP’s Hindu Rashtra dream. So far, mostly Muslims and women journalists have been subjected to online torture through the Tek Fog app.
A study of 46 lakh replies to the tweets of 280 popular female journalists over a five-month period from January 1, 2021 to the end of May, 2021, found that more than eight lakh responses came from accounts managed via the Tek Fog app and 67 per cent of those replies were intended to portray them as obscene and derogatory.
Shehla Rashid Shora, a student from Kashmir who was the vice-president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), was tortured by the saffron mob through the Tek Fog app. They posted doctored porn pictures of her on social media. Also by using various accounts they posted derogatory comments against her on a daily basis. The student leader eventually quit Twitter on 2018.
Next, the Tek Fog app was found to be involved in the riots in northeast Delhi on February 23, 2020. Protests started erupting across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which was brought in 2019. In Delhi, violence was unleashed by the saffron mob on the Muslims who were protesting against the CAA. A total of 53 people were killed and more than 200 injured. The homes and property of Muslims were looted. At a rally against this protest on the day of the riots, Kapil Mishra of the BJP publicly called for the riots, “If the police do not clean up the agitators from the streets in three days, we will do it”. It has been widely disseminated via Tek Fog accounts. So this is also one of the main reason for the Delhi riots.
Similarly, the sangh parivar gang cooked up a story, that Muslims are conducting ‘Corona Jihad’, based on the Tablighi Jamaat conference held in 2020. They have unleashed a dirty false propaganda that the Muslims are spreading corona virus through saliva. #तब्लीगीजमातजिहाद (“Tablighi Jamaat Jihad”) and #Tablighi Jamat Virus were the hashtags used by them for their vicious campaign. #Tablighi Jamat Virus, one of the hashtags amplified by the operatives, was shared by this network extensively. The hashtag was amplified by more than 1,56,000 tweets, reaching an audience of around eight crore users. It was ideologically supportive to the attacks by the saffron mobs on Muslims across the country.
The alliance between saffron and corporate
Two corporate tech companies, Persistent Systems and Mohalla Tech Pvt. Ltd, have been involved in developing this hi-tech app called Tek Fog.
Of these, Mohalla Tech Pvt. Ltd. is the company behind Sharechat, one of the social media platforms. The Sharechat app, which operates in 24 regional languages of India, is funded by Twitter. It has 16 crore users. Sharechat has been the testing ground for them, before they started spreading hate campaigns and fake news on other social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.
Next, Persistent Systems is an Indian-American publicly traded technology services company founded in 1990. It employs those who operate Tek Fog as ‘social media incharge’ based out of the company’s corporate office in Nagpur, India. Devang Dave, the current election manager for the BJP in Maharashtra, is its supervisor.
The company has invested heavily in acquiring government contracts since 2015. In 2018, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare chose Persistent Systems to build a digital data hub that would record, store and process health information across ten Indian states. This means that, our data is officially transferred by the government to an underworld cyber force.
The illusion of social media democracy
Without the Tek Fog app, the Modi government has enacted several laws to legally control the social media. On February 25, 2021, it notified new guidelines for social media titled “The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021”.
According to this, the originator of the unlawful, anti-national comments on social media can be traced. This rule provides for imprisonment of up to five years for them and those who share the content. These Rules also control news websites and OTT platforms.
Similarly, in February 2021, the Ministry of Home Affairs flagged off the Cyber Crime Volunteers Program under the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre. Under this program, citizens can register on the cybercrime volunteers program portal and flag unlawful, anti-national content on the internet and can help law enforcement agencies.
The Modi government says such regulatory provisions and schemes will be used to detect and punish those spreading obscene messages against women and children online. We can’t believe that ‘the wolf cried when the sheep got drenched in rain’. These campaigns are similar to this.
It is a well-known fact that under the rule of the saffrons, “illegal – anti-national” means “anti RSS-BJP”. So we can understand even without saying how such laws will be used. These laws are meant to suppress those who oppose the RSS-BJP via online. And will be used in the same manner as UAPA, NIA & National Security Act are used.
With a secret App called Tek Fog, the RSS-BJP is propagating a wide range of religious fanaticist campaigns among the masses and conceptualising them. They are carrying out riots by using this.
They are also using this App to cyber bully the democratic forces who are exposing their ideology and fascist aims to the people and drive them away from social media.
On the other hand, the Modi government is taking away the freedom of expression of the people by bringing in new laws and regulations. It is legally cracking down on those who post comments against them. Tripura incident is a testimony to this fact. UAPA has been slapped on those who took to Twitter to condemn the violence perpetrated by the saffron mobs against Muslims in Tripura.
All this heralds a new trend. The fact that anyone can freely express their opinion on social media is being buried. Social media has used extensively by the people as a tool for expressing their views with freedom in the bourgeois democracy. That period is seeing its end.
But, the same social media is useful for the fascists, who are anti-people. With great influence they are able to propagate their ideology to the wider masses.
The entire digital world is being made into a puppet of fascists. All those who can identify themselves as a lover of democracy and oppose dictatorship can no longer be contributing only by posting on social media. We need to be prepared for a massive mass uprising to bring down the saffron-corporate fascism. You can’t even expect democracy on Twitter without defeating fascism on the ground.