Wednesday Apr 13, 2022
After former prime minister Imran Khan was swept from power by a no-confidence vote on Monday, a few hashtags began trending, and have since refused to budge from the top trends on Pakistan’s Twitter.
These hashtags, which are critical of Pakistan’s military, judiciary and the new government, have garnered millions of likes, tweets and retweets.
Are these hashtags organic? Or are they being pushed by certain accounts?
Journalist Asad Beg has analysed the trending hashtags.
On Twitter, Beg wrote that for starters the Twitter accounts, contributing to hashtags against the army and the government, overlap.
The journalist noted that 30% of Twitter accounts contributing to a hashtag against an important personality were also contributing to the hashtag #ImportedHakoomatNamanzoor.
The journalist added that political parties ought to monitor and publicly distance themselves from accounts involved in defamation. “Or own all of them,” he tweeted.
These Twitter accounts, he further went on, are also circulating a fake video of a drone attack. One such account “claims to be a ‘PTI family member’ and has also sent 226 tweets to #ImportedHakoomatNamanzoor,” he wrote.
The journalist also concluded that these trends are unlikely to be completely organic and might not represent the sentiment of the public at large.
“[There are] 3.4 million total [Twitter] accounts in Pakistan. Not 3.4 million users. One user can have multiple accounts,” he tweeted.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the military leadership also took note of the propaganda campaign” on social media “to malign [the] Pakistan Army and create division between the institution and society,” read a press release.