Smriti Irani, Rahul Gandhi and the tale of Twitter bots

Rahul Gandhi's "resurgence" on social media also goes hand in hand with another news report claiming that the Congress had roped in Big Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica for a more targeted digital campaign to woo voters.

"Perhaps @OfficeOfRG planning to sweep polls in Russia, Indonesia & Kazakhstan??" Activist Tehseen Poonawalla pointed out how among those who retweeted Modi's tweets also included an escort agency.

Reacting to the media reports, Rathore tweeted: "In sports, this would come under "Doping". hey wait! does "dope" remind you of someone".

The report points out that a tweet made from @OfficeofRG, Rahul's official Twitter account, retweeted Donald Trump.

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Irked at his "Shah-zada" jibe against Jay Shah, son of BJP national president Amit Shah who is in the centre of a controversy over his company's meteoric rise in wealth since May 2014, Union Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, on Saturday, hit out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi through a post on micro-blogging website, Twitter.

The tweet quickly reached 20,000 retweets and now has touched 30,000, the report claimed, adding a close analysis of this tweet showed that these alleged "bots" with a Russian, Kazakh or Indonesian characteristic were routinely retweeting the Congress vice president's tweets.

The hashtag #RahulWaveInKazakh was trending on Twitter, where various people took potshots at Rahul. When asked about Rahul's twitter growth AAP had earlier raised questions whether the retweets or real and it appears they were not. Why are they not answering.Why are they not answering questions raised by him (Gandhi) about farmers?

The report which is being widely shared on social media, alleging bots behind Rahul's popularity on twitter further details the profiles of the users who are retweeting the politician.

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"The Story is factually wrong. Congress's social media dream aborted?" said one tweet from Malviya.

BJP leaders however, focused their attack on alleged bots used by the Congress to boost Gandhi's tweets, an allegation countered by the party.

Bots have been very much in the news since the United States presidential election past year.

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  • Ryan Wade