Tech

Twitter Has Its Moment With Hijacked Tweet of a Mother Responding to PM Modi's Speech

Prerna Dawar's tweet had showed her mother observing silence. So did several others'.

New Delhi: On June 17, Twitter user Prerna Dawar posted two photographs showing how her mother responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call – during his live address 24 hours after the Galwan clash – to stand and observe silence for Indian soldiers.

In her tweet, Dawar (@theprernaa) wrote that her mother had not been well and could not stand properly. Her photographs showed Modi’s address playing on television and a woman, presumably her mother, standing with hands folded in prayer.


Within hours, several Twitter users had copied the tweet – photos included – and tweeted it verbatim, as if it was their own mother who had stood up in response to the prime minister’s speech.

Screenshots showing the tweets.

With so many purported sons and daughters purportedly moved by the eerily similar actions displayed by their mothers who all look the same, tweets soon rained on how the BJP’s ‘IT cell’ seemed to have botched up its operations.

Mass tweeting of the same text – usually lauding the prime minister and his policies – is one of the techniques of the ruling party on social media. The content is usually shared via Google document. Pratik Sinha, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, famously edited an ‘IT cell’ document containing the text of tweets to be posted by members.

Also read: #OperationHashtag: How a Hindutva FB Group Pushes Politically Divisive Topics on Twitter

The result was a then Union minister tweeting that “working for the middle class is low on the agenda” of the Modi government.

The pattern repeated itself when Deepika Padukone’s Chhapak was released and the actor visited Jawaharlal Nehru University to lend her support to those protesting against the attack on students’ union president Aishe Ghosh and several others. Enraged, right-wing online activists posted that they had cancelled tickets to the film. Except all the tweets had photos of the same cancelled seats.


Eventually, Dawar tweeted old photographs with her mother in an effort to prove that her tweet was, at least, genuine.