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Delhi BJP wants EC to act against Chinese app Helo for ‘disinformation campaign’ against it

Chinese app Helo tells ThePrint advertisements did not just involve BJP, but other parties too, and were posted before the code of conduct kicked in.

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New Delhi: The Delhi BJP has urged the Election Commission (EC) to take action against Chinese app Helo for carrying out a “disinformation campaign” against the party through advertisements.

In a letter written to the EC dated 29 March, the BJP cited a 28 March report of ThePrint to buttress its point. The report said that advertisements posted by Helo on Facebook had content involving political figures and nationally-important issues, but there was no disclaimer as to who paid for these ads.

The BJP letter signed by Neelkant Bakshi, co-incharge of Media, Social Media & IT cell, stated, “…many of these ads have been seemingly against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)” and a particular advertisement even had a ‘highly derogatory imagery for our former beloved Prime Minister’— Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”

The letter sent to Election Commission by BJP | By special arrangement
The letter sent to Election Commission by BJP | By special arrangement


Also readBJP volunteers write to Parliament IT panel, want hearing against Twitter & FB for ‘bias’


The letter further stated, “Through our own [party] members, we’ve found that this app has also sent notifications and uploaded posts…with highly problematic content that could be viewed as spreading hate, enmity against certain communities in India.”

Some of the advertisements say, “BJP using Atalji to the maximum potential”, “What utter ridiculousness on display by aaptards…”, or “…Rahul Gandhi said we will abolish GST, now the Congress ruled states are in disagreement to even reduce the slabs”.

The BJP has called for action against Helo, video-sharing app TikTok and the company that owns both the apps — ByteDance, which is currently called the world’s ‘most valuable startup’ with a net worth of $75 billion.

The BJP demanded action against the apps under Section 125 (Promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and for violating EC directive on “pre-certification of political advertisements released on social media”.

Ads posted prior to MCC, says Helo

In an email sent to ThePrint on 1 April, Helo said: “These ads were all generated prior to the declaration of General Elections by the ECI and the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.

“The political ad content shown on the platform is party-agnostic as it did not just involve mentions of BJP, but comprised almost 60% mentions of other parties,” the email stated.


Also readFacebook takes down 11,000 political ads by Helo, owned by same Chinese company as TikTok


 

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