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EXPOSED – Fake BJP fans on Facebook, and how to spot them

Freemanmax

I’m not a political person.

I have no knowledge in the field whatsoever. However, to be honest, the 2014 elections captured my attention and I liked the official page of AAP to be updated.

Today, I saw a photo posted by the page and opened the comments. I saw this comment at the top:

ImageClick here to go to the comment. It had about 100 likes at that time. I looked away for a few moments, and when I saw it again, the number had risen to around 400. This might be normal for high-volume pages like this, but it got my attention.

I opened the “People who like this” window, and saw a list of people with either gibberish or foreign names which any sane native Indian wouldn’t have.

modi-1-likesI decided to investigate this. I scrolled down and tried to load as many names as possible. Using simple programming, I was able to come up with around 470 profile links (FB didn’t allow more). Click here to see the list of profile links, and click hereto see the list of their names.

Using these links, I was able to fetch the “locale” of these people (the information is available to anyone who has the profile link), which roughly corresponds to their location/language. Here are the results:

es_LA - 1 users - Spanish
pt_BR - 1 users - Portuguese
fr_FR - 5 users - French
id_ID - 273 users - Indonesian
sr_RS - 1 users - Serbian
vi_VN - 50 users - Vietnamese
ms_MY - 2 users - Malay
sq_AL - 3 users - Albanian
jv_ID - 4 users - Javanese
tr_TR - 1 users - Turkish
ar_AR - 3 users - Arabic
es_ES - 1 users - Spanish
en_IN - 1 users - English (India)
en_GB - 27 users - English (UK)
en_US - 99 users - English (US)

Surprised? Why, why, why would have so many Indonesian/Vietnamese supporters? Of course there can be some, but this is ridiculous. More than 70% of likes are probably from countries other than India. Here, take a look at all the profile pictures, you’ll see what I’m talking about:

collage

 

Just to confirm my suspicions, I took another comment with a high number of likes, one which supported Kejriwal this time:

akClick here to go to the comment. Again, followed the same procedure and got around 430 profiles (FB didn’t allow more, don’t know why). Here’s the “People who like this” window:

ak-likesHere are the results:

en_IN - 2 users - English (India)
hi_IN - 1 users - Hindi
en_US - 357 users - English (US)
en_GB - 71 users - English (UK)
bn_IN - 1 users - Bengali

Perfectly normal, since most of the Facebook users in India use English as their language. Take a look at their profile pictures:

ak-collageNormal, isn’t it? 0% of the likes seem to be from outside India. Click here to see the profile links of these people, and click here to see their names.

It’s clear that BJP is paying click farms in Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries to get fraudulent likes. (see update 5 below)

To anyone who doesn’t buy this, the data is out in the open and you can have a look yourself. Of course, before the poster deletes them.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now. I’ve tried to stay unbiased in this post by just presenting the facts. You’re the one who has to decide.

Also, for those who’re interested, here’s some simple Python code and the files that I used.

UPDATE 1:
The commented that supported Modi has been deleted. I’m really sorry if you couldn’t see that. But I’m sure people who have seen the comment can verify that it existed.

UPDATE 2:
It would be helpful if you can find more of such comments, since they’re not easy to find (they get buried easily and get deleted after some time). We can run the same procedure on them. You can tweet to me @thefreemanmax

Some of these fake profiles have references to “liking” websites. Take a look at the following post and the comments on it. Heh.

 

In case this gets deleted, here’s the image.
autoliker

UPDATE 3:
I’ve compared only two comments in this post. So of course, this may deviate from the facts. That’s why I encourage you to do this yourselves. Fake followers of Modi or Kejriwal – I don’t care. I’m not standing up against anyone. I just want the truth to be out.

UPDATE 4:
With an unbelievable stroke of luck, I’ve found out the profile of the person who had posted that comment. Take a look: https://www.facebook.com/bhaskariscool
Screenshot 2014-04-15 22.29.25

UPDATE 5:
As a commentator pointed out below, the struck-out statement (above) really is pretty naive, thanks for pointing that out.

It is possible to get a lot of likes for free (although it’s harder). It is possible that real BJP supporters used free click farms, instead of BJP workers. It is also possible that BJP workers are being instructed to use free click farms to increase online reputation.

But that doesn’t rule out the original argument that the click farms might be paid, right? Also, the fact that I’ve found another comment having fake likes (a lot less this time, I agree) with almost zero effort helps:
nm2Links: commentator profileprofile linksprofile names

es_LA - 2 users
fr_FR - 4 users
id_ID - 83 users
vi_VN - 66 users
ms_MY - 1 users
jv_ID - 1 users
tr_TR - 3 users
th_TH - 1 users
en_IN - 3 users
en_GB - 49 users
en_US - 242 users

nm2-collageI’d love to see comments supporting AAP having fake likes. I’d like to have a fair comparison. If you find any, please comment below. I’ll remove the moderator approval for comments.

Some people think I’ve written this post as if it’s a Nobel-worthy discovery. I don’t know where they get that from. I realize what my standards are, and I’ve tried to make that clear.

Actually, it now seems that any more effort at continuing this post is worthless, if not stupid. The issue not that big, and it’s enough that thousands of people now know about it.

– Max
Contact me: @thefreemanmax
Please share this far and wide. It will make a difference.

Read more ehre- http://thefreemanmax.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/fake-bjp-fans-on-facebook-and-how-to-spot-them/

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