A few days ago, the Congress party posted an advertisement on Facebook targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The post, ‘Desh bachao, Modi hatao’ (Save the country, remove Modi) gained a lot of attention on social media.
This is routine politics. But here’s where things got interesting.
Thanks to Facebook’s policy tweak, which allows users to gain access to in-depth information on political advertisements and the countries in which they are being promoted, several people noticed that the Congress’s ad was being heavily pushed in Pakistan.
Amit Malviya, in-charge of Bharatiya Janta Party’s National Information & Technology unit, even posted a tweet exposing the Congress’s cheap trick of taking Modi bashing to enemy shores.
Official Congress page sponsoring ads on Facebook in Pakistan to remove Modi! pic.twitter.com/F9hhMFEPzS
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) October 18, 2018
Some Congress supporters, however, jumped to their party’s defense and asserted that the screenshots posted by Malviya and others were fake.
Congress’s official Twitter handle attempted to brush off the incident using humor.
— Congress (@INCIndia) October 18, 2018
Divya Spandana, who handles social media and communications for Congress, deployed evasive tactics saying the party had chosen ‘Amritsar and 30 miles’ to promote the advertisement and hence Pakistan showed up, though the ad never really promoted in the neighbouring country.
I’m surprised you have a tie-up with Facebook. They should tell you how ads work on their platform? We chose Amritsar & 30 miles and Pak showed up for FB. Since our ads were targeted for India, the ad never ran in Pakistan. Surely you’re better than this @boomlive_in https://t.co/NgqFg5A0ET
— Divya Spandana/Ramya (@divyaspandana) October 19, 2018
Video proof seems to indicate otherwise. The below footage shows the names of both India and Pakistan in the Facebook list, thus it can be concluded that Congress did indeed promote its ‘Desh bachao, Modi hatao’ ad in Pakistan.
Link to video –