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 Facebook 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:
Click 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.
I 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 Modi 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:
Just to confirm my suspicions, I took another comment with a high number of likes, one which supported Kejriwal this time:
Click 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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
Links: commentator profile, profile links, profile 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
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.
Contact me: @thefreemanmax
Please share this far and wide. It will make a difference.