India govt seeking software to map citizens’ online activities: Report
Even before the fire of the Cambridge Analytica scandal died down, a report published by Russia-based Sputnik International has said that the Narendra Modi government has sought a software tool which can "analyze as well as visualize large volumes of data across diverse digital platforms in real time".
According to the tender document through which the Indian government is seeking the help from software firms and social media personnel on the same: "The tool should have the capability to crawl the World Wide Web and social media to monitor and analyze various trends emerging as well as to gauge the sentiments amongst netizens. The tool should be comprehensive with the capability to generate reports and do customizations as per the requirements of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting," the Sputnik report added.
The software should be able to power a real-time "New Media Command Room" that would monitor various social media platforms and the scope of the work also includes moulding the public perception for the country in a positive manner and inculcating nationalistic feelings in the masses and how could the social media and Internet news/discussion be given a positive slant for India, etc, the document said.
It also said that the platforms should have support for foreign languages like Chinese, German, French, Arabic besides Indian languages like Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil and major English.
"As ministries and cabinet ministers have been frequently using "hashtags" on social media to propagate the government's mission and policies across the spectrum, the tender document indicates that the Modi government is now aiming to use more powerful tools in the election year to shape a positive narrative about India. The tender document suggests that the country's most popular government in the last three decades has stumbled against the popularity being gained by the opposition Congress leader Rahul Gandhi through social media," the Sputnik report added.