Bots, Twitter accounts run from overseas used to defame Maha

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govt, Mumbai cops' Mumbai, Nov 3 (PTI) Twitter accounts operated from foreign countries, some of them run by `bots', were used to spread slanderous posts against the Maharashtra government and Mumbai police after actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death as per a cyber experts' report, the city police claimed on Tuesday.

Many of the Twitter accounts which spread false or defamatory messages about Rajput's suicide and its probe were found to be run by `bots' (software programs designed to tweet and retweet content), the experts' report said.

These accounts were being run from outside India, from places such as China, Panama, Hong Kong, Nepal, it said.

Some accounts which were being operated from within India were using proxy servers to hide the user's identity, the report said.

The number of such suspicious accounts was approximately over 1.5 lakh, and number of bots involved in this operation was over 1,000, the police said.

Immediately after Rajput's death in June, many new Twitter accounts surfaced and started sending out posts with 'negative sentiments' against the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Police and even started maligning theMumbai policecommissioner (Param Bir Singh), the report said.

Different hashtags were used for this, and some fake accounts of known personalities like Bollywood actors were used to 'execute the defamation over social media platform', the report said.

At least 19 Hashtags and mentions such as JusticeforSSR, ParamBirScam, ParamBirSinghResign, SanjayRaut, Officeof UT, AUThackeray, BabyPenguin were investigated by the team of cyber and forensic experts.

The report confirmed the suspicion that bots were being used to spread defamatory messages, the police said in a release.

Now many of these accounts have been deleted, or negative posts are being removed to evade investigators' scanner, they said.

Mumbai Police's Cyber Cell will investigate the matter further, they added. PTI DC KRK KRK