India’s ruling party has a troll army to silence opponents online, book claims

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There is no escaping trolling if you are on social media. More so, if you happen to be a popular figure.

The country with the second-largest internet population in the world saw its ruling party sponsor online trolls to chase down its opponents, including politicians, journalists and celebrities, claims a new book.

The country in question is India, and the party being BJP that was elected to power in 2014.

These revelations have been made in a book titled I Am A Troll authored by an Indian journalist, who’s scored an explosive tell-all interview with a former BJP volunteer, Sadhavi Khosla.

Khosla, who was a party volunteer until the end of 2015, now claims to be “disenchanted” with the ways of the BJP and is relieved to have outed herself.

Journalist-author Swati Chaturvedi, who has blogged about her investigation, alleges in the book that the 2014 prime ministerial campaign of Narendra Modi used hundreds of social media volunteers to push critical, sometimes abusive, messages about public figures perceived to be opposed to the BJP.

She writes, “During the investigation, I was shaken when I discovered the secret ‘IT shakhas’ and the depth of the rigorous planning of social media operations… I was also taken aback by the sheer ordinariness of the trolls. Here were people abusing, slandering and indulging in communal incitement, making rape…

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