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In defence of Ola Electric, a network of dubious social media accounts

In defence of Ola Electric, a network of dubious social media accounts
4 May, 2022
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A network of seemingly coordinated Twitter handles appears to be working to drown out criticism of Ola Electric on social media and build a positive narrative for the brand online, a Mint investigation has found. Several of them also work in a coordinated manner to trend other topics or promote other brands as well, indicating they are likely either accounts created by digital media agencies or freelance networks that work for multiple agencies.

Mint documented more than 50 such handles which attacked Balwant Singh, a government employee in Guwahati. Singh had tweeted out the grievous injuries suffered by his son, Reetam, a lawyer at the Guwahati high court, in an accident on 26 March involving Ola S1 Pro, the flagship product from the electric two-wheeler maker. Singh had complained that the scooter accelerated when it was supposed to brake, sending his son flying.

The tweet sparked a conversation about the safety of Ola Electric scooters, with others sharing their own unpleasant experiences. As Singh’s tweet gained attention and made its way into news media, the network of accounts got to work.

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“Just letting you know since you don’t know, this is what airborne crashing looks like not 1 scratch on a panel”, user @princi_qween tweeted, using a road accident image.

“Regen(enerative braking) exists so that the battery efficiency is better. How has it caused an accident? Seems like something that has been done to garner attention & money. If he is hurt that bad you should take care of him rather than demanding things on Twitter”, another tweet by @ImAnkitss read.

Two handles claimed that Singh’s Twitter account turned active after eight years to extort money from Ola. At least six others tweeted identical images of a gory road accident, claiming if Reetam’s account was indeed true, the damage would have been worse.

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Read the full story on Livemint here.