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The Left propaganda platform that sponsored Rahul Gandhi’s Cambridge stunt | #socialmedia | #hacking | #aihp

On May 21, Rahul Gandhi spoke at the event ‘Ideas of India’ in the United Kingdom organized by Bridge India. Resorting to his usual scaremongering, Rahul Gandhi asserted that a civil war in India would not surprise him because the country was extremely unstable. He stated that India is in a horrible position and that a political revolution is required.

To substantiate his contention, he stated that the Bharatiya Janata Party has “poured kerosene around the country” and that a single spark is enough to blow the country up.

“We have a massive level of polarisation, huge unemployment. We have the backbone of employment broken, and we have a massive concentration of wealth. We are going to have social problems, and they’re coming. There’s no doubt about it,” he further said.

He even supported the US interfering in internal matters of the country. Gandhi was then asked about the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking about human rights violations in India in a press conference. To that, Rahul replied, “I’m glad that the United States has woken up to this idea.” Tweaking the course of his answer, he said that the US is not needed in order to make us realize the issue. “It has been quite a long time to sense it,” he stated.

Meet the sponsor ‘Logically’

As per Bridge India’s website, Logically was one of the main sponsors of the event. The founder and CEO of Logically Lyric Jain were one of the speakers at the event.

Source: Bridge India

On May 11, Logically published a report where they claimed that Indian right-wing influencers and the Indian Government fell for the alleged “Russian propaganda” that Ukraine mistreated Indian students. Several reports showed that Indian students were mistreated in Ukraine and had to face racial and physical abuse. In fact, families of Indian students evacuated from the neighbouring countries under Operation Ganga had themselves spoken to the media, telling that they were abused, and discriminated against by the Ukrainian authorities.

The portal claimed that Russian Embassy in India propagated that the Indian students were held hostage and the Indian Government, media, and influencers went with the narrative. It also targeted Indian media for speaking up about the alleged US assisted Biolabs in Ukraine. Logically alleged, the Russian Embassy in India was used to spread the alleged misleading information that was widely discussed in media as well as on social media platforms in India.

In reality, the US government had themselves admitted that they had Biolabs in Ukraine, the initial claims by some media houses that the Biolabs were “propaganda” had been soon busted.

Logically and its problematic portfolio

However, columnist Surya Kanegaonkar and Twitter user Abhijit Mitra have raised questions about the left-leaning platform. In a series of Tweets, Kanegaonkar explained how the platform is problematic specifically due to the fact that it not only spreads misinformation but also provides doxxing services.

Kanegaonkar pointed out an article titled ‘AI Biases and the Global South’ on Logically’s website. The article talked about how ‘Artificial Intelligence’ used by tech giants is often biased. What caught out eyes are two sections of the article. The first was where they had quoted so-called fact-checking website Alt News’ founder Pratik Sinha who is known for his drastic anti-Modi views. Sinha was quoted saying there was a need for “local fact-checking bodies” in countries with “authoritarian governments”.

At first, the quote sounds genuine but then comes the real propaganda. Sinha was quoted again saying, “In countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh with semi-authoritarian governments, you need to be friends with the Government to do business. There’s a lot of hate speech in India and these people are not being de-platformed as quickly as they should.”

The doxxing services

Under the ‘Services’ section on the website, there is a section where they openly offer doxxing services to anonymous accounts. It reads, “Our investigations team uncovered the identities of bad actors leveraging online anonymity to avoid accountability and spread harmful content with impunity and without recourse.”

In clearer words, if you feel someone anonymous on social media is bad for your company, throw in some money and Logically will happily trace the account, making it dangerous for the anonymous user to exist. Hypothetically, such services can be used by bad actors themselves to uncover anonymous users uncovering their ‘illegal’ businesses. There is no mention of where one would Logically draw a line. It is just mentioned as a ‘service’.

Claims of safeguarding ‘democracy’

Logically claims that its aim is to “protect democratic processes by monitoring, detecting, attributing and countering election harmful content and activity.” But what if their client defines bad actors as the people opposing them without considering if they are right or wrong? There is no public list of clients who take services from Logically. Kanegaonkar said, “Their job, much like the US’ Disinformation Governance Board, is meant to “safeguard” democracy. With the help of AI, they aim to control the flow of content that Logically and its clients deem as “disinfo campaigns.” Where’s the transparency of their client list and process?”

The dubious Logically India

Logically India has been accused of running a disinformation campaign against Union Ministries. The account follows the usual regime change agents, including Mohammad Zubair of Alt News, Rana Ayyub of Washington Post (Amazon, which owns Washington Post, also funds Logically), News Laundry, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Barkha Dutt, and The Quint, and many others.

Kanegaonkar also shared screenshots of Logically India’s Vice President Sagar Kaul’s Twitter, where he had liked ‘posts of Geelani’s granddaughter and those of Kashmiri “journalists” and activists who are known to have pushed false news repeatedly.’

Normalizing Bengal post-election violence

In May 2021, they published a report titled ‘Stop The Steal, West Bengal Style: Disinfo Narratives Around Political Violence’ in which they tried to blame the BJP for misinformation after its workers experienced waves of violence post-poll.

While asserting that post-poll violence is common in Bengal, Logically said, “As swathes of fake images and videos of the violence gained traction on social media, hashtags such as #PresidentsRuleInBengal, #BengalBurning and #ArrestMamataBanerjee trended on Twitter. The flood of misinformation and disinformation amplified by pro-BJP handles appears carefully crafted and coordinated to portray the state’s grip on law and order as lacking, hence justifying the invocation of the President’s rule in the state.” They clearly blamed BJP leaders for the misinformation.

Interestingly, in 2020, the Indian Government had awarded Logically in AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge under the News section.

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