India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stands accused of using a secret software application named Tek Fog to manipulate public opinion and intimidate, harass and abuse political opponents.
A detailed, multi-part investigation by The Wire after a whistleblower tip-off indicates that the BJP is artificially inflating the party's popularity, harassing its critics and manipulating public opinion across a number of major social media and mobile platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter.
The revelations have prompted public condemnation from politicians, rights groups, The Editor's Guild, and The Delhi Union of Journalists, and has spurred an investigation by India's Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.
Operator: Bharatiya Janata Party; Mohalla Tech/ShareChat; Persistent Systems
Developer: Bharatiya Janata Party; Persistent Systems
Purpose: Manipulate public opinion; Harass opponents
Technology: Application; NLP/text analysis
Issue: Safety; Privacy; Bias/discrimination - race, gender; Mis/disinformation
Opacity: Governance; Privacy