Representational image. Photo: Reuters.

By Shakir Mir / The Wire

Srinagar: On January 28 this year, Instagram and Facebook suspended the official accounts of XV Corps, also known as Chinar Corps, an Indian army formation deployed in Kashmir. They were restored after a gap of 12 days, on February 9.

There was no immediate response from Meta, the company which owns both of these platforms, but the Indian Express, citing official sources, attributed the suspension to “co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour.”

In their response to the army, neither Facebook nor Instagram are reported to have objected to any specific post, the Express said.

As per company policy, Meta flags an activity as “inauthentic” and “co-ordinated” when it is aimed as “misleading” people, and rallies an algorithm response that cripples the networks responsible for such behaviour.

In another report in the same newspaper a day earlier, official sources appeared to acknowledge the presence of a “co-ordinated campaign” but attributed the activity to Pakistan, where users were said to have mass-reported Indian social media accounts, resulting in their suspension.

“Officials suggested that the content on these two platforms was similar to what they post on Twitter, and was in line with how official content is shared,” the Express story read. “Each of the posts is vetted before being put out, and nothing objectionable is shared from these handles.”

In a similar incident in June, 2019, Twitter, too, had suspended and later restored the official Chinar Corps handle.

Earlier this week, however, US-based Stanford Internet Observatory, which studies the abuse of internet technologies worldwide, discovered an unidentified online network running influence operations, with a legion of bot accounts disguising as Kashmiri users posting pro-Indian Army propaganda.

This story was originally published in . Read the full story here