"In a long undercover operation, codenamed Operation Blue Virus, Cobrapost exposes about two dozen IT companies across the country to be running a shady business of reputation management on social media platforms, offering their clients fake fan-following on Facebook and Twitter, and are doing negative publicity against a political leader or a party, or a corporate house, at the behest of their opposite camp, all for money," Cobrapost, an investigative newsportal, said in a release.

Cobrapost claimed these IT companies, which create fake accounts would generate fake followings on Facebook page, running into lakhs, by creating fake profiles or buying likes from the community of netizens. It would also create a good fan-following on Twitter, by buying packages of followers. It claimed that these IT companies use offshore IPs and servers to avoid tracing of the source of online content.

Cobrapost said one such online reputation manager is also working for Campaign Modi on social media. He is planning to make a defamatory content on Rahul Gandhi to go viral on social media a few days before elections.

Union Home Minister SushilKumar Shinde said he has raised the issue recently in a conference with the Intelligence Bureau and would seek for more details.


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