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Twitter analysis finds out who were behind #BoycottSurfExcel campaign


New Delhi, March 15: Recently, a hashtag #BoycottSurfExcel was making the rounds on Twitter after the detergent brand came out with an ad showing a girl challenging her neighbourhood friends to splash her win colours on Holi so that she could protect her friend - a Muslim boy in whites - who was on his way to the mosque for prayers. There was soon a cry to boycott Surf Excel for its presentation.

Twitter analysis finds out who were behind #BoycottSurfExcel campaign

A French security researcher, who uses the online handle Elliot Alderson, then dug deep to understand who was/were behind the campaign and then revealed it and explained how the hashtags #BoycottSurfExcel, #BoycottHindustanUnilever and #SurfExcel were used by a particular political party's IT cell.

The advert was aimed at promoting communal harmony but was instead slammed for allegedly portraying Holi colours as 'daag' (stains) and even promoting 'love jihad'.

Alderson, who is well-known for exposing Aadhar leaks, tracked tweets that came out with the three above-mentioned hashtags for some days and came to see that among six of the accounts that were posting the tweets most actively, four are from the troll community of a particular party.

Follow the analysis posted by Alderson on Twitter here:

Alderson also did a reverse search on the profile picture of one of the accounts that was tweeting these hashtags and found that it is a 'cool boy' profile picture used on another social media platform Facebook. He also came to discover that out of the total number of unique Twitter accounts that were tweeting with these hashtags, five per cent belonged to trolls of one particular party.

#GoBackSadistModi was not being tweeted by Pakistan, Alderson's analysis found

On March 7, Alderson analysed the hashtag #GoBackSadistModi which many right-wing Twitter handles said was being pushed by Pakistani Twitter handles. He concluded: "To conclude, sorry to break your dreams, but no, there is no indication that Pakistan is pushing this hashtag."

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