India and Pakistan are key nations using Social Media warfare against each other in Asia

The relations between India and Pakistan have always been conflicting, as both the nations have aggressively engaged in social media misinformation campaigns against each other. Both the nations are using the capabilities their cyber warfare consisting of disinformation, propaganda, also developed superior tools that help in snooping and stealing information to attain the tactical goals in south Asian continents.

According to the recent news, the Central Government of New Delhi (India) have blocked 35 YouTube channels (consists 1.20 Crore subscriber, and 130 Crore views). Apart from YouTube accounts 2 Twitter accounts, 2 Instagram Accounts, 2 Websites, and a Facebook account have also been blocked.

The joint secretary of India revealed that all the blocked accounts are Pakistan based and were identified to be spreading fake anti- India news and other content. Earlier also in December 2021, 20 YouTube channels originating from Pakistan had been blocked for the same reason.

Social Media Warfare between two famous Rival Nations

As per reports, DG ISPR of Pakistan employed thousands of informational warfare experts and interns for synchronized propaganda to push the communal split within India. The budget of propaganda was over Pakistani Rs 600 crore.

On June 3, Facebook had removed Pakistani’s network of accounts and pages engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” that targets domestic audiences, as well as international speakers of English, Pashto, and Arabic Languages.

The networks consisted of 40 Facebook profiles, 25 pages, six groups, and 28 Instagram accounts, many of which used forged personas or pretense as independent media outlets to post about current events news and with a clear political agenda. Facebook revealed that their investigation found links to individuals associated with AlphaPro, (A Pakistan-based PR firm).

In 2021, a social media campaign called #BoycottIndianProducts was trending on Twitter. The anti- India campaign happened after the expulsion drive against the invader in Assam went vicious. Pakistan also united itself with the trending social media campaign against India.

History shows that India too has been developing itself to counter Pakistan. In the past it has been exposed that India was engaged in a large scare misinformation campaign with the help of a private firm Srivastava Group to influence European Union on the conflicting issue of Jammu & Kashmir.

In 2021, the Brussels- based Eu DisinfoLab exposed an enormous network of 265 fake local media outlets in 65 countries serving Indian interests, as well as multiple doubtful think tanks and NGOs. These networks were active in Brussels and Geneva in developing and magnifying content intended to, mainly, damage Pakistan.

In the investigation of Indian Chronicles, another Indian network had been exposed by the group that aims to reinforce Pro- Indian and anti- Pakistan approaches in India. The network belongs to the Indian-based firm Srivastava Group.

In 2021, A Canada- based communication firm Press Monitor headed by Abhay Aggarwal (chief executive) formed a website India vs. Disinformation presenting itself as an Indian media outlet and fact-checking site, then used it to promote statements supporting the Indian government. The website consists of different articles that were written to persuade public opinion in support of the Modi government and against its adversaries.

Also, India too has been running information warfare against Pakistan. For the propaganda, India has employed its domestic media outlets. Over the past months, Indian news channels (India Today, NDTV, Republic TV, and CNN- News 18) have all been spreading their government’s narrative against Pakistan.

Over time, Social media propaganda has been granted as a hybrid threat that has frightened the steadiness of the global system. Misinformation campaigns are one of the factors of a dispute between big nations. By seeing the above-mentioned points we can conclude that this is an ongoing war, there is no limit to what cyber warfare promoting capabilities, both India and Pakistan may reveal in the future.

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