Sushant Singh Rajput case: Cops identify 1 lakh fake social media accounts used to malign Mumbai Police, Maharashtra govt
Another 20,000 social media accounts have been identified for having attempted to malign the image of Mumbai Police and the state government by discrediting the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Commissioner of Mumbai Police Param Bir Singh had instructed the cyber cell to investigate the matter and register cases under provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act.
HT had previously reported that Mumbai Police had identified over 80,000 social media accounts, which had attempted to discredit the police and Maharashtra government after Rajput was found dead in his Bandra apartment on June 14. With more than 20,000 accounts being identified since, the total number of accounts engaged in the misinformation campaign is now over 1 lakh. According to Mumbai Police, many of these accounts were created on June 14 and are operated by bots.
“Bots are used to increase followers or to [make] something trend on social media. In this case, we have identified over 50 bots and each bot is capable of operating at least 5,000 accounts, so it can be imagined as to how many accounts would have been used to make something trend,” Singh said on Thursday. “We have also identified IP addresses, which were used to operate and access such accounts. The IP addresses used by bots were operated from India and abroad, and the process of identifying accused is underway,” he said.
A senior crime branch officer said certain accounts posted tweets in just 0.3 seconds and most posted messages that were copied and pasted. Some of the accounts were created over 10 years ago and had been inactive for a long time before posting messages with hashtags like #SushantSinghRajput.
“We have also found in our investigation that the accused were using IP addresses from other countries like Italy, Japan, Poland, Slovenia, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Romania, France, Iceland, Russia and Surinam,” the officer said.