Trolley Times and Kisan Ekta Morcha: Countering the Godi Media

On Sunday, the Facebook and Instagram account of the protesting farmers- Kisan Ekta Morcha was blocked for around three hours.

On Sunday, the Facebook and Instagram account of the protesting farmers- ‘Kisan Ekta Morcha’ had been blocked and after much uproar upon social media was restored three hours later.

Facebook alleged that the page had gone against its ‘Community Standards on Spam.’ The Instagram page- also owned by Facebook, was also not allowed to share new posts said the managers of the pages.

Neither of the social media has provided any reason for the sudden block. However, a Facebook company spokesperson had said, “We’ve restored Kisan Ekta Morcha’s FB page and regret the inconvenience caused.”

This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of being used as a government tool to curb dissent, or of supporting the authoritarian government. A report published in August by The Wall Street Journal had exposed how Facebook’s Public Policy expert Ankhi Das had a soft corner for BJP accounts by refusing to flag their content no matter how harmful or hate-inciting. She was made to resign due to criticism.

Related Read: Facebook could have prevented Delhi Riots: Facebook Ex Employee

The farmers expressed their resistance to the same by calling out both social media through their Twitter. It was followed by massive public outrage, following which the accounts were reinstated and the apology issued.

Kisan Ekta Morcha- Countering fake propaganda one tweet at a time

Lately any protests that happens against the ruling governement is quickly branded as terrorists, maoists, khalistani etc by Godi media and BJP IT cells to discredit the movement be it anti -CAA/NRC, student movement and the latest farmers protest.

Tired of the biased representation of the farmer’s protests by mainstream media, farmers had taken to building their own representation online and provide updates to people. The farmer organisations have started their youtube channel, instagram, twitter and snapchat accounts.

Their Instagram bio reads their purpose-

This is an attempt to spread awareness among the masses about the controversial agricultural laws.

The Kisan Ekta Morcha has also begun a YouTube page on December 16 to provide exclusive updates about the Kisan Protests. Currently, the page has 543K Subscribers but it is expected to increase as the page garners more attention day by day.

So far the YouTube channel has posted live streams of various speeches and events occurring at the Singhu Border- the major protest site. They also post videos countering false claims and allegations made by the Modi Government.

 

Trolley Times: Pen is Mightier Than The Sword

Farmers have also begun their bi-weekly, bilingual newsletter- Trolley Times, to counter false narratives and to maintain steady communication amongst the protesting farmers at the border.

The Hindi and Gurmukhi Newsletter was distributed among the farmers on Friday morning, 18th December.

A quote by Bhagat Singh, “Inquilaab di talwar vichaaran di saan tey tez hondi ae (the sword of revolution is sharpened at the whetstone of ideas),” read one of the headlines.

While mainly intended for the protestors, the newsletter also contains a QR code for all those who are interested to read.

Related Read: ‘Media not portraying us well’, so farmers print Trolley Times — their own newsletter

The idea for Trolley Times was developed one night on a tractor-trolley at the Singhu border. It contains photos, illustrations, and updates regarding the protest. The newsletter has received much support since the publication- indicative of growing support for the farmers against the government and pro-government media.

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