Congress launches online campaign against ‘fake news’ in India


NEW DELHI, Mar 24, 2019, The Asian Age. The Congress on Saturday launched its first online poll campaign, titled “Shut The Fake UP”, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, reported The Asian Age.

The campaign against “fake news” was kicked off by the Twitter handle, @STFUIndianMedia.

“Fake news and information has been in trend last 5 years, not anymore! Today we launch a surgical strike against this fake propaganda with #ShutTheFakeUp. No more fake, no more fraudulent!,” it tweeted along with a short film on fake news.

“When Unemployment Hits Nation and hits bad, media channels must sense an obligation to highlight this for the masses rather than focus over the attention seeking tactics of the ruling party,” the handle added.

The entire plan on fake news being the first the-me for online campaign was cleared at the top levels of the party after the first clearance by the 13-member publicity committee, headed by senior leader and Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma.

Other members of the committee include Congress’ chief spokespeson Randeep Surjewala, senior leaders Manish Tiwari, Pramod Tiwari and Rajeev Shukla. social media chief Divya Spandana and head of Data and Analytics department Praveen Chakravarty.

The Congress, which was caught napping by the aggressive social media presence of the Narendra Modi-led BJP in 2014, has worked hard to claw its way up into the digital minds of voters.

The party has also repeatedly claimed that ruling BJP was tying to occupy the minds of the people through “fake news” and propaganda.

Congress sources said that the fake news initiative was the beginning of a series of online campaigns planned by the Congress in the runup to the Lok Sabha polls.

After much differences among the members, the party earlier this week finally zeroed in on three companies — Designboxed, Silver Push and Nixon Advertising — to handle its Digital, Social Media and outdoor campaigns for the Lok Sabha polls.

There were also differences on the themes of the campaigns to be launched.

Sources said that all the initial suggestions were rejected by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the companies were asked to come up with fresh themes and fake news was one of the topics which was unanimously accepted.

“We have many more subject based online campaigns which we plan to roll out over the next few week in the run up to the general elections,” the head of data analytics department, Praveen Chakravarty, told this newspaper.

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