New Delhi: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and six other senior leaders of the outfit got their Twitter accounts verified Monday, in a bid to curb the misinformation being peddled on social media in their and the organisation’s name.
Sources in the RSS told ThePrint that having verified accounts will help curb the malpractice of impersonation, with the move also being symbolic of the organisation keeping with the times.
Only the official handle of the RSS, @RSSorg, was verified so far. Although the handle was used to verify the statements issued by RSS functionaries, information from unverified handles still managed to gain traction in the public domain, said a senior RSS functionary.
“Verifying handles will give credibility to these handles and is a step to penetrate the communication space of young Indians,” the functionary added.
“We have maintained that the RSS is modern and will also adapt with time,” said another. “We give training to social media enthusiasts in the RSS from district-level onwards. The all-India team has 25 members. Prant prachar pramukhs meet once a year for three days, where 60 per cent of the time is spent on updating participants on new technology.”
Following each other
RSS chief Bhagwat joined Twitter in May. The other six leaders who now have verified accounts are sahsarkaryawahs Suresh Soni (joined in May), Krishna Gopal (June), and V. Bhagaiah (June), besides sarkaryawah Suresh Joshi (May), akhil Bharatiya prachar pramukh Arun Kumar (June), and akhil Bharatiya sampark pramukh Aniruddha Deshpande (June).
Currently, the RSS leaders with Twitter accounts only follow each other, and no one else, including members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While others are following Bhagwat and each other, the RSS chief only follows the organisation’s handle though he has over 19,000 followers. He hasn’t posted a single tweet so far.
The accounts of the top functionaries will be maintained by them, sources in the RSS said, and offer followers a “glimpse of the RSS thought process on various issues”.
Meanwhile, the larger army of RSS workers has been issued a standard operating protocol on social media use, ThePrint has learnt.
According to a senior functionary of the Sangh, during training sessions, members have been instructed not to post any fake news or use unparliamentary language. They have also been asked to check the veracity of posts before sharing them.