Political Parties Used Fake Facebook Accounts to Influence Delhi State Polls, Says Whistleblower
13:28 GMT 22.10.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
In 2020, Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang alleged that a "politically-sophisticated network" was working to influence the Delhi Assembly elections. However, she did not disclose the name of any individual or political party at that time.
Whistleblower Sophie Zhang, a former data scientist at Facebook, has revealed that major political parties used fake accounts during the 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly Election to influence voters.
These parties included Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the country's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress party, Zhang has stated.
"A BJP parliamentarian was also involved. All of them (Facebook posts) were pulled down, barring the one by a BJP MP. AAP supporters used fake accounts to portray themselves as supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who were switching to (Arvind) Kejriwal in order to fight corruption," India Today quoted Zhang as saying.
Arvind Kejriwal-led-AAP won 63 while the BJP grabbed seven of the local legislature's 70 seats during the state polls.
Zhang, who left Facebook last year, alleged that she was fired from the company for speaking up about its failure to fight election interference and stop the spread of hate and fake news.
The whistleblower also reported "potential criminal violations" by Facebook to the authorities.
Zhang's testimony comes just weeks after another whistleblower, Frances Haugen, testified before a US Senate panel urging American authorities to intervene in the "crisis" created by the company and saying that Facebook cannot address harmful content online.