Sensationalism, sleaze and misogyny – the other face of right-wing propaganda

There is something truly disturbing about the political propaganda pages that actively run on Facebook, influencing millions. Apart from repeatedly circulating fake news and communally charged content, there is another category of posts they regularly churn out – the tawdry, sleazy kind. While there are hundreds of such pages, Alt News made a compilation of 10 of them to show how they use misogyny to garner traffic and make big bucks.

1. NAMO (@isuportNamo)

Earlier this month, Alt News reported on a fake quote attributed to Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi supporting Mandsaur rapist Irfan. Out of the several Facebook pages that shared the misinformation was ‘NAMO’. Its post attracted more than 5,000 shares. The repercussion of the viral false quote was rape threats to Chaturvedi and her daughter.

‘NAMO’ has been around since 2014 and in these past four years, it has gained a massive following of more than 4 million people. But fake news or communal/religious content is not all that the page shares. One of its posts titled “This star batsman is crazy about Aamir Khan’s daughter…” had more than 4,500 likes at the time of writing this article. ‘NAMO’ is full of such tasteless content.

2. We Support Narendra Modi

Created in 2016, Facebook page ‘We Support Narendra Modi’ has successfully gathered the support of more than 2 million people in merely two years. This is the headline of a recent post shared on the page (from a website ironically called ‘Classy News’) – Army man comes home to surprise wife. When the wife delayed opening the door, he saw with his wife…(her lover)”. This is only one example among the several other sleazy posts shared by the page.

Further scrolling through the page shows that it has shared plentiful articles by classynews.co. This is what a usual article on the website looks like:

  1. A sleazy, catchy title followed by a Google ad.
  2. The article is broken down into multiple small paragraphs (and pictures), each followed by a Google ad.
  3. A typical article on the website has at least 4-5 ads, mostly via Google.

Websites like Classy News have partnered with ‘We Support Narendra Modi’ (and many other such pages) to give themselves substantial exposure.

3. Namo (@indiapmmodi)

Another page named ‘Namo’ that was created as ‘Shayar ishq and funny by Ayseha Siddiqui’ in 2016, repeatedly shares obnoxious content. It recently posted an article titled“Youthfulness caught this widowed woman and she got into a relationship with a young man. It has another post titled, “Five popular Bollywood actresses who don’t like wearing underwear”. As one keeps scrolling through the page, more such tasteless posts are shared with its 5 lakh followers.

4. Bhakt hu Shri Ram ka

The irony of creating a page dedicated to a Hindu religious figure and posting boorish content is hard to ignore. An example of a post shared by the Facebook page ‘Bhakt hu Shri Ram ka’ is – “These four Bollywood actresses were pregnant before marriage. You’ll be shocked to know who is number 3”. Another post is titled“These girls were recording a cheap video with the room’s door closed. This is what happened when the mother came inside.” The 7 lakh followers of the page regularly like, share and comment on such posts.

5. We support India

Created on March 2017, ‘We support India’ has managed to attract more than 6 lakh followers in a little over a year. The most recent post shared by the page, at the time of writing this article, is titled – “This 36-year-old actress is crazy about Rahul Dravid. Do see her face” (the featured image only shows the woman neck down). Another article shared on the page is titled – “Tired of wife’s wrong activities, husband installs hidden camera. What he saw…”

6. Rashtra bhakt sena

A former Smriti Irani fan page, ‘Rashtra bhakt sena’, like its aforementioned counterparts, has several obnoxious posts to its name. A young girl holding the Indian flag in its display picture and a female army officer adorning its cover photo should fool nobody that the page was created by a bunch of feminists.

Out of its many tawdry posts is this one – “These are the things this yoga teacher does while teaching yoga. You’ll be shocked if you see this.” Another one its posts is titled – “A girl was in bed with her lover when her husband came inside…”

The page has more than 12 lakh followers.

7. Insist

Alt News had earlier reported on the workings of InsistPost.com, run by a young man named Ankit Kumar. Not only does the website regularly share articles on its Facebook page but also other many other partnered pages. A lot of its articles concentrated on the issue of sex, how to increase one’s longevity in bed, why women shut their eyes during sex, and more. Most of the articles shared by its Facebook page has cropped images of women – basically, neck down till their waists and/or their legs. But men’s faces are clearly shown. For instance, this article about “Amitabh Bachchan’s younger brother’s wife” has the actor’s face and the woman’s legs.

The page shares many such articles with its 15 lakh followers on a daily basis and in most, women’s faces are only barely visible.

8. Sach bolta hu kadwa toh lagega hi

A page that shares anything from jokes, sharayis, political propaganda, the blessings of Lord Hanuman to quotes about mothers’ love, also frequently circulates sleazy posts about Sanjay Dutt’s wife looking “fiery hot” in Singapore, what a hidden camera recorded behind the closed doors of a woman’s room, what was in the leaked “personal video” of Jacqueline Fernandez, and more. The page has more than 3 lakh followers and alternates between sharing political propaganda and basest content.

9. Atal Modi

Since its inception two years ago, Facebook page ‘Atal Modi’ has managed to gain over 17 lakh followers. Among its articles are ones talking about the relationship between an underage student and his teacher, what a “woman in a towel” did with her boyfriend, five schools in the world that teach “dirty things” to their students, the cute Bollywood actress who had to “use toilet on a highway”, so on and so forth. Unsurprisingly, this page is also both religious and political. It regularly shares articles by a website dainiktimes.com (which also frequents many other Facebook pages mentioned above).

10. Bar bar Modi sarkar – Modi forever

With a whooping follower count of over 3 million, ‘Bar bar Modi Sarkar’ influences and shapes people’s minds with the posts it regularly churns out. The page, filled with fake news and communally-charged content, also has numerous trashy articles to its name. Some of its posts talk about the “oops” moments of Bollywood actresses, the man on whose command Bollywood actresses agree to strip on camera, the unmarried woman who gave birth to the most popular Bollywood actress, and more. This page too has shared numerous articles by Dainik Times.

The aforementioned pages are only the tip of the iceberg among the hundreds of other such propaganda pages and groups active on social media. They keep their businesses running by following the similar strategy of juggling between posts praising the government and those shaming women. They collaborate with sleazy websites and Facebook pages, driving and generating enormous traffic. While this article is only a compilation that attempts to bring forth how such pages make money by pushing tasteless content, Alt News will publish more articles in this series to reveal their inner workings.

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