Cong, BJP battle it out over FB crackdown

Social media has emerged as a new frontier for political parties as Lok Sabha elections get underway. REUTERS

Facebook's action against pages and accounts posting partisan political content on Monday sparked off a war of words between the main rivals, Congress and BJP.

As Facebook took down 687 pages linked to the IT cell of the Congress, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit out at the grand old party accusing it of using fake accounts to spread falsehood against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Congress hit back at the BJP pointing out that the social networking website had also taken down web pages associated with the ruling party, particularly 'Indian Eye' — a page which had as many as 2.6 million followers.

“My Nation, BJP's prominent propaganda FB page, is down and so is BJP backed, hosted on Silver Touch server, Indian Eye and many more,” Priyanka Chaturvedi, Convenor of the AICC Communication Department said.

Congress also clarified the none of its official pages or those of its “verified volunteers” were taken down by Facebook.

BJP social media chief Amit Malviya termed Facebook's “crackdown” on pages linked to the Congress IT cell as “unprecedented”.

“It proves that just like Rahul Gandhi, Congress’s digital footprint is also a purveyor of fake news... Sad part is that despite all the fakery, they continue to lose elections and credibility. #CongressFakesItOnFB,” Malviya said.

Law Minister Prasad claimed that the Congress was desperate and therefore resorting to such “dubious” means to claim support. “But people are sure of what they have seen of Narendra Modi government,” he said.

Social media has emerged as a new frontier for political parties as Lok Sabha elections get underway. Congress has often accused the BJP of running smear campaigns targeting its leaders, particularly party president Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress has also tried to pay BJP back in its own coin, and has delivered sharp retorts ahead of the elections.

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