BJP Minister Criticises Modi Govt by Copy-Pasting from Edited Doc
Pratik Sinha shows the problem when even BJP Union Ministers Ctrl+C and Ctrl-V their tweets from IT Cell documents.
In an embarrassment to the Narendra Modi administration and the ruling BJP, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan tweeted multiple times in criticism of the government – by copy-pasting from an edited document. Radhakrishnan tweeted that “working for the middle class is low on the agenda of Modi govt” and that “Modi govt has not made inclusive development as the focal point of its functioning.”
So how did the faux pas happen? The BJP IT Cell routinely circulates “Trending Documents” on Google Drive, stuffed with loads of pre-written tweets. BJP workers, leaders and even Union Ministers simply copy-paste from these documents at a certain predetermined time and help the party’s position trend on Twitter.
But on Wednesday morning, 13 February, co-founder of Alt News Pratik Sinha edited one of these documents to draw attention to the process and highlight the security concerns when Union Ministers tweet by simply copy-pasting from such unsecured documents.
The Problem When Ministers Just Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V
In the following video, Sinha shows how he edited the Google Drive document that had been circulated. Anyone with the link could edit the document, and Sinha chose to use the opportunity to change key words in the tweets – for example, he changed the phrase “PM Modi took care of the marginalised section” to “PM Modi took care of the richest sections” and so on.
Speaking to The Quint, Sinha explained:
“This is a huge security issue. I, as an individual with no connection to the government, can control what a BJP Union Minister is tweeting. Such a lack of security can have disastrous consequences. What a Union Minister is tweeting should not be outside the control of his own office, but that is exactly what is happening.”Pratik Sinha, Co-founder, Alt News
The following are more examples of text from the edited document being tweeted by the official handles of the BJP Assam unit and of Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, that’s it.
Hilarious, Yet Serious
The BJP Assam account also tweeted, “Dishonesty and lack of transparency is the hallmark of a new India under Modi govt.” BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya, who was tagged in the tweet, surely won’t be too pleased.
Too Late, Minister. Too Late
As expected, minutes after Sinha posted his thread of tweets online, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and other accounts started deleting their tweets criticising the Modi government.
So, are the tweets gone? Nope, not a chance. The internet never forgets, remember? Screenshots and archived tweets for the win.
Lessons to Learn, Dear Minister (and IT Cell)
- Union Ministers should really be more careful and not blindly copy-paste whatever the BJP IT Cell circulates.
- The IT Cell’s got to up its game and not circulate Google Drive documents editable by anyone with the link!
- And lastly, the government should explain why a Union Minister was tweeting things without seemingly even knowing their contents, and the security risks involved when tweets by Ministers are written by entities outside the government.
Moral of the story: Read before you tweet!
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