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Toolkits popular online across political beliefs | India News


When climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has 4.9 Twitter million followers, tweeted out a ‘toolkit’ meant to nudge protesting farmers’ voices towards a certain direction, the six-page document she shared became a subject of intense scrutiny and is now being investigated by Delhi Police.
In the age of social media, toolkits are here to stay, say experts. According to Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center, toolkits represent a form of 21st-century activism, with emphasis on using social media and internet to galvanize activists and to share information on various online tools to rally support for a cause.
Desi online groups also using toolkits to amplify their voices
TOI found domestic online groups that are also using toolkits to amplify their voices and guide their movements in specific ways. A Telegram group called ‘Hindu Ecosystem’, with over 19.5k members, regularly tries to set the online agenda by sharing such “toolkits”.
In the group’s description, the admins have posted a Google Form asking people to join the movement. One of the questions in the form asks people if they have any special area of interests such as “gauraksha, gausewa, fight ‘love jihad’, ghar wapasi…”
One of the group admins, who goes by the username ‘We Support CAA’, shares word documents with ‘sample tweets’ daily and encourages people to post them on Twitter to make them trend.
On the group, members regularly claim to have a hand in making some hashtags trend, which included linking the farmers’ protest with the Khalistan movement. The group also posted tweets with the hashtag “terror attack on Delhi” on January 27, a day after a section of farmers clashed with police.
The Greta toolkit was dated back till January 23, and listed several hashtags like #AskIndiaWhy, #FarmersProtest and #TheWorldIs-Watching with specific dates on which they trended. It also contained sample tweets that would be posted in the future. Parts of the same resources are also publicly available on a website, www.askindiawhy-.com, which is built by a collective called Poetic Justice Foundation. PJF was cofounded by Mo Dhaliwal, a Khalistani sympathiser. PJF later denied any links with Thunberg’s tweet.
According to The Logical Indian founding editor, Bharat Nayak, online toolkits are common since they determine the tone and intent of the campaign. “Problem with online campaigns arise because people can use fake handles and money to push their agenda, and there is no way to know if a trend is fake, and whether it is paid or not,” Nayak cautioned.

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