New Delhi: Pakistan’s planned propaganda blitzkrieg to mark the first anniversary of the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir will include a collaboration with “right-wing influencers” for a campaign across social media portals, ThePrint has learnt.
This is likely to include sponsored content criticising the Indian government on Facebook and Instagram, besides music and podcast portals Soundcloud and Spotify. Live video-streaming app Periscope is expected to be used for engagement with audiences in Europe and the US. The stories feature of Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp is likely to be used as well.
Sources in the security establishment say they have accessed another list of activities — the second in less than 10 days — planned by the Pakistan’s military media wing Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Wednesday, 5 August. It was on this day last year that the Modi government had stripped J&K of its special status in line with a long-held campaign promise of the BJP.
The new list of “additional activities”, sources said, suggests the Pakistani establishment has planned to generate 15 exclusive hashtags following an assessment of those that went viral last year.
“They are doing this very scientifically. By studying and analysing the hashtags on Kashmir that went viral last year, they will know which hashtag can go viral and have a greater outreach,” a source in the security establishment said.
“For instance, the way Twitter’s algorithm works, if a hashtag is used in the past, the propensity of it getting viral is less. So, they will not use those, but come up with something new by working out the best combinations. Something that can go viral instantly and has a lot of engagement,” the source added.
“The idea is to promote the sentiment of hatred, disturb peace, provoke the locals and incite violence.”
The fact that the Pakistani establishment has a campaign planned for 5 August came to light on 27 July, when the first such list of activities surfaced.
According to the list, a number of packages criticising the Indian government have been made for Pakistani TV news channels, which are also supposed to turn their logos black, sources told ThePrint earlier. Also, all Pakistani embassies have been asked to hold programmes and protest rallies against India on the Kashmir issue.
Use of social media
The new list accessed by the Indian security establishment charts out, in detail, the use of different social media platforms on 5 August for various activities. “Run a Facebook, Insta post at 5 am on 5 August and sponsor it from $5 to $25,” says the document, which has been seen by ThePrint.
“Spotify and Soundcloud can be used for audio,” it adds. In order to bring in and engage with the audience in Europe and the US, use of Periscope is prescribed.
The list also mentions that Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook stories must be used to “propogate the content” as it stays in followers’ and contacts’ feeds for 24 hours.
“Install Chrome extension, Everliker etc which auto-generates multiple hashtags and can be selected whenever anyone uses the hashtag,” the document says.
The list of additional activities also hints the Pakistani establishment is envisaging engaging “some foreign leaders as well as Indian leaders” for its campaign.
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