As the debate on “intolerance” rages on, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has began training its volunteers to ensure “safe” use of the social media, with special emphasis on maintaining “national security” while posting messages on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook. In the training workshops, being organised at districts across the country, volunteers are being asked to re-tweet the messages of top office-bearers with the RSS hashtag to make the same gain popularity on Twitter.
Sources said that by using the same method, Twitter trending of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s annual speech of Vijaya Dashami festival has seen a huge increase. The volunteers are also learning about the Information Technology (IT) Act-2005, which people often violate by posting provoking messages on controversial issues.
RSS’ Awadh Prant Sah-prachar Pramukh Diwakar Awasthi said: “These workshops are being organised to make the volunteers aware about the IT Act so legal action can be prevented. Volunteers are learning to post positive messages of RSS ideology on the social media. They are being trained to avoid posting messages that can create a row or land them in legal trouble.”
Citing an example, he added: “On Bakr-Eid, police had detained a BJP worker in Hardoi for allegedly posting a message on the social media about animal sacrifice.” RSS sources said the workshops will see five presentations, including one on national security. It has been prepared by a Bangalore-based IT law expert, who is associated with the RSS. RSS volunteers are also being trained to avoid using certain words that can provoke controversy or disturb social and communal harmony or draw criticism in any part of the world.
“It often happens that different people post message on communal issues or against RSS on the social media and aggressive RSS volunteers, in reply, make remarks involving objectionable words and content, including photographs. They are being told to post comments in a positive direction using simple words,” said a RSS office-bearer. Further, volunteers are being asked to cross-check facts with senior office-bearers while posting comments on the social media on any sensitive issue. They are also being asked to re-tweet messages that Sah Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale, Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya and Akhil Bharatiya Sah Prachar Pramukh J Nandakumar post on their or the RSS twitter handles.
“These office-bearers post positive messages on national issues of public importance. When volunteers re-tweet these messages with the RSS hashtag, trending of the messages will increase on twitter and it will become more popular,” said a office-bearer.