‘Cyber warriors’ sway Indian election

17 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: India’s election watchdog says it has forced Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to take down hundreds of posts during the country’s election but experts say it is just a drop in an ocean of misinformation that has engulfed voters, reports AFP.

The ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress party have thrown armies of “cyber warriors” into a bitter social media war for the six weeks of voting that ends Sunday.

The arch-rivals accuse each other of deploying social media dark arts such as automated bots and trolls to bombard voters with messages, fake and real.

No blow has been too low in the war of words and videos between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition leader Rahul Gandhi.

Real-life insults traded by the two—Gandhi calling Modi a “thief”, Modi deriding his opponent as “pappu”, or fool—get shared thousands of times on WhatsApp and Twitter within minutes.