New Delhi: The Twitter accounts of the Press Information Bureau (PIB), a Central government agency tasked with disseminating information to the print, electronic and new media, have recently been ‘liking’ a strange slew of tweets, ranging from Japanese cosplay accounts to pornography.
The likes seem to have started on February 15, with a Japanese tweet featuring a ship being the first unusual one.
Prior to that, the PIB had last liked a tweet dated Sep. 7, 2016.
Earlier on Monday, the PIB offered a statement on these posts, claiming an “unknown malfunction” has caused their official account (@PIB_India) to like random tweets in different languages.
Due to unknown malfunction, @PIB_India handle has been generating a series of random likes of tweets in multiple languages since this morning. @TwitterIndia has been apprised on the issue & is working to resolve it. We thank all those who have connected with us on the issue.
— PIB India (@PIB_India) March 22, 2020
However, this seems suspicious, given that the Bureau’s corresponding Hindi account, @PIBHindi, has also liked a number of tweets in the same vein. The overlap is stark, with some tweets being liked by both, the English account and the Hindi account.
The likes have not gone unnoticed by Twitter users.
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) March 22, 2020
The secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, Kavita Krishnan, has also voiced her concern regarding these tweets.
Lots of Japanese tweets on the @PIBHindi handle also, along with pornographic stuff, none of which is removed yet!
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) March 22, 2020
The first unusual tweet liked by @PIBHindi dates back to March, while their last ‘normal’ like was on November 6, 2019.
A list of the unusual tweets liked by the accounts can be found here.