Centre monitoring 2,500 social media accounts spreading Chinese propagandaLast updated on Sep 18, 2020, 12:30 am
The central government is reportedly keeping a close eye on thousands of social media accounts that are allegedly spreading Chinese propaganda.
A large number of the social media handles are operating from Pakistan, a document accessed by The Economic Times showed.
The development comes amid heightened tensions along the Indo-China border in Eastern Ladakh.
Here are more details.
Accounts traced to Pakistan, Hong Kong, China, UK, and Russia
According to ET, the government is monitoring over 2,500 social media accounts that are allegedly spreading Chinese propaganda and disinformation on the Indo-China border conflict.
Official sources told the publication that the accounts are mainly active on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
They have been traced to Pakistan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Russia, and China, the sources said.
'VPN is used in countries where social media is banned'
An official told ET, "Analysis revealed that the IP (internet protocol) address of the user was either in Pakistan, UK, Russia, or China. In some countries where social media is banned, it is being accessed through a virtual private network (VPN)."
Some accounts blocked; others being monitored
Reportedly, India has flagged the issue with the respective social media companies and some have been blocked. However, many accounts continue to operate and are being monitored.
The official added, "Many banned accounts reappear by changing handle names and details in the bio-data. In multiple cases, e-mail IDs, and contact numbers required for opening accounts on social networking sites were found identical."
Chinese propaganda scaled up after recent border provocation
Chinese propaganda had increased after August 29, when the Indian forces prevented their attempt to change the status quo at the Pangong Tso lake in Eastern Ladakh.
The recent border provocation came after months of border tensions, starting early-May when both forces had faced off near Pangong Tso.
A June clash in Galwan Valley also led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers.
Several Chinese apps have already been banned
The government has already banned over 175 Chinese apps, claiming that their "activities are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order."
Meanwhile, talks between the two countries continue at the military and diplomatic levels to arrive at a peaceful resolution.
India has repeatedly asked China to restore the status quo in the region.