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Amid Anchor Boycott, Fake Account of INDIA Bloc Crops up on X

Congress leader Pawan Khera told The Quint that the INDIA bloc has not created an account on X till now.

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Amid Anchor Boycott, Fake Account of INDIA Bloc Crops up on X
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The Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc released a list on 14 September announcing that they will boycott shows hosted by around 14 news anchors.

  • After the announcement, we came across an X (formerly Twitter) handle called '@2024_For_India' that was sharing posts targeting these journalists.

  • The account is impersonating the INDIA bloc and has gained more than 9,000 followers.

An archive of the account can be found here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

Recent posts shared by the handle: The user has shared several posts taking shots at some journalists and terming them as 'Godi Media' (lapdog media).

  • In one such post, which was derogatory in nature, the user shared a picture of dogs with a caption which said "Emergency meeting called by all godi media anchors after INDIA alliance decided to Boycott them."

  • The handle also claimed that the second version of Congress' Bharat Jodo Yatra will be soon held.

The account has been sharing posts targeting journalists.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

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If not INDIA bloc, then who?: At first, we noticed that the account joined the platform in April 2010 whereas the INDIA bloc was formed earlier this year.

The handle joined X in April 2010.

(Source: X/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

  • After going through the account's interactions, we found a post dating back to 15 March 2014 where the user took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • A reply to the post indicated that the account's previous handle was called '@Sandeep_2009'.

Further, we searched for posts sent to '@sandeep2009' and came across several posts that reflected '@2024_For_INDIA' as the username.

This indicated that the account' username had been changed.

(Source: X/Screenshot/Altered by The Quint)

Account identifier: The platform assigns a set of unique numbers as an identifier to each account, which is not affected by any change in the username.

  • Through TweeterID, a service that identifies the code, we searched for the number assigned to username '@2024_For_INDIA'. It showed the user ID of the account was 131837559.

This is the unique set of numbers assigned to the account.

(Source: TweeterID/Screenshot)

  • We found an archive on WayBack Machine of the account carrying the username '@Sandeep2009', which was captured in 2014.

We found that the account carried the name of one Sandeep Sharma.

(Source: WayBack Machine/Screenshot)

  • On comparing the unique ID we found in the archive to that of '@2024_For_INDIA', we could conclude that both the accounts were indeed the same.

Both accounts had the same identification numbers.

(Source: WayBack Machine/Screenshot)

Congress denies the association of INDIA with the account: The Quint reached out to Congress leader Pawan Khera who said that the INDIA bloc has not created an account on X till now.

Conclusion: While we could not identify when exactly the username was changed, it is clear that the account is impersonating the INDIA bloc and sharing posts on the platform targeting several journalists.

(With inputs from Siddharth Sarathe)

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Topics:  Fact Check   Webqoof   Pawan Khera 

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