Saturday, April 13, 2019

A pro-Modi Facebook group with 2.9 million members has become a hotbed of fake news

 Fake quotes, photoshopped tweets, videos with false context – this page has them all. How Modi survives and thrives with Fake News! @ashoswai.   A pro-Modi Facebook group with 2.9 million members has become a hotbed of fake news
WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI/Facebook




WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI, a public Facebook group created over seven years ago, has morphed into a fake news farm with over 2.9 million members and a few moderators who in turn feed their own disinformation networks.

At the time of writing this story, the group had about 29.45 lakh members (29,45,691) and counting.


Furthermore, nearly 600 Facebook pages are also ‘members’ of the group, amplifying the group’s posts that are heavily skewed towards the right-wing and are increasingly fake.

Prime logo
by Amazon
Price:   22,999.00  FREE Delivery.Details

Visit Amazon Echo Family Here

In the week beginning April 8, BOOM debunked several pieces of misinformation ranging from a fake quotea photoshopped tweetan unrelated image and an unrelated video shared with false context, all stemming from the same group.


More worryingly three of the group’s moderators can be linked to the spread of viral and harmful communal fake news on the social media platform.

The group created by Manish Bansal and Basant Sethia on February 10, 2012, describes itself as a fan group of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “to gather support for the hope of Hindusthan”.

Description of the Facebook group ‘We Support Narendra Modi’

While Basant Sethia only lists his profession as business on his profileManish Bansal is the co-founder of the website NewsTrend. NewsTrend’s Facebook page has over 41 lakh followers. Its parent company is based out of Khairar, Odisha.

In March 2016 Bansal replied to a question on Quora, a public forum, about the biggest group on Facebook.


At the time Bansal replied, “The biggest group of facebook is “WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI” group. It’s having nearly one million members and it is highly active. It may be the most active group of facebook.”

Among the group’s list of housekeeping rules, it also spells out that its members are not paid by the Bharatiya Janata Party but are offering their time online voluntarily.

Housekeeping rules of ‘WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI’ Facebook group

Housekeeping rules of ‘WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI’ Facebook group

A disclaimer says members are not paid workers of the BJP.


Moderators: Creators Of Misinformation


Moderator Mukul Jain:
The group is moderated by three administrators and 53 moderators. Despite the disclaimer, at least three moderators, according to their Facebook profiles are linked to the BJP — one a member of the party, while two others were associated with the party’s social media operations.

Mukul Jain’s Facebook’s intro says he works for BJP’s IT and social media. Jain’s bio also states he manages three Facebook pages भारतीय जवानWe Support Namo and देशी विकाश (Bharatiya Jeevan, We Support Namo and Deshi Vikas)


Jain’s page We Support Namo, with a following of over 1,80,000, is a purveyor of fake quotes targeting Muslims, liberals and critics of the government. The quotes from the page are made in the same template.


Fake quotes are a menace in India and their origins have been hard to trace. But the below examples show that they might be pumped online in a synchronised blast.

Coordinated Fake Quotes Network

Moderator Sameer Sachdeva

Sameer Sachdeva, another moderator of the group WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI posted a fake quote attributed to Ravish Kumar, a news anchor at NDTV Hindi, on April 10 at 9.11 am.


The same fake quote was separately posted by We Support Namo, the page run by moderator Mukul Jain, four minutes later at 9.15 am.

Same fake quote shared by the page ‘We Support Namo’ at 09:15
Same fake quote shared by the page ‘We Support Namo’ at 09:15

Another example shows the page We Support Namo posting a fake quote of actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj on March 30 at 7.57 am and the same quote posted by Sachdeva to the group WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI at 7.58 am.

A fake quote shared by the page ‘We Support Namo’
 A fake quote shared by the page ‘We Support Namo’

Fake quote attributed to Prakash Raj shared in the ‘WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI’ group
 Fake quote attributed to Prakash Raj shared in the ‘WE SUPPORT NARENDRA MODI’ group

The actor himself called out the fake quote in January, on Twitter.


Sameer Sachdeva, whose profile only reveals he studied at Gujarat University, was also responsible for sharing fake quotes falsely attributed to actors Kangana Ranaut and Shabana Azmi, among others.

This article first appeared on Boomlive.in  via Scroll.in  (Excerpted)



No comments:

Post a Comment

Find the post useful/interesting? Share it by clicking the buttons below