Updated May 31st, 2024 at 21:35 IST

Did Foreign Firms Peddle Anti-BJP Agenda? What Open AI Report Says

STOIC was found generating comments that focused on India, criticized the ruling BJP party and praised the opposition Congress party.

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
Did Foreign Firms Peddle Anti-BJP Agenda? What Open AI Report Says | Image:PTI
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New Delhi: Recent revelations by US-based AI firm OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, shed light on the activities of STOIC, an Israeli political campaign management firm, in generating comments focused on Indian politics. The firm's tactics included criticism of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while praising the opposition Congress party. According to the report, STOIC's orchestrated campaign aimed to influence public opinion on various political issues in India, leveraging social media platforms to disseminate their messaging. Dubbed "Zero Zeno," this influence campaign was part of a broader scheme to manipulate public opinion not only in India but also in Canada, the United States, Israel, and Ghana.

Operation Overview

Utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), the operation generated a plethora of web articles and social media comments. These were strategically disseminated across various platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and others. The content primarily targeted Indian audiences, with a focus on criticizing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while endorsing the opposition Congress party. Fortunately, this campaign was swiftly identified and disrupted within less than 24 hours of its commencement.

Tactics and Content

The Zero Zeno campaign employed sophisticated tactics to foster the illusion of genuine engagement and authenticity. AI was harnessed to fabricate fictional personas and social media profiles, meticulously tailored to specific demographics such as age, gender, and location. Moreover, the operation deployed fake accounts to comment on and interact with its own posts, thereby simulating genuine audience engagement. The campaign's content spanned various thematic clusters, addressing local issues like the Gaza conflict and Jewish-Muslim relations, alongside targeted political commentary across different regions. In the Indian context, the content aimed to discredit the BJP while promoting the Congress party. Other thematic clusters included anti-Hamas, anti-Qatar, pro-Israel, and pro-Histadrut (an Israeli trade union) content.

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Published May 31st, 2024 at 19:46 IST