Ola Electric has been accused of troll users who have criticised the Ola S1 Pro electric scooters using a network of shady social media names. Mint, a financial news distributor based in Delhi, conducted a private inquiry into the incident and produced a report. According to the study, Ola Electric has used false names to defend the company, which are thought to be part of a bot army or freelancers working for social media agencies.
The Accident Story
The social media saga began when Reetam Singh, the son of Guwahati’s Balwant Singh, was involved in an accident and publicly chastised Ola on Twitter. Singh claimed he was then assaulted by Twitter trolls who used the same pattern and organisation in their tweets. Balwant Singh had tweeted and emailed CEO Bhavish Aggarwal about an apparent regenerative braking problem.
Ola recently received a complaint from a customer who was involved in a car accident in Guwahati. Balwant Singh, the victim’s father, tweeted about a possible regenerative braking problem that caused the collision. After reviewing the victim’s scooter’s telemetrics, Ola Electric responded with a clarification, blaming the latter for overspeeding.
However, the company’s father, Balwant Singh, filed legal action against the company, accusing it of privacy violations and defamation. This happened after Balwant Singh and Ola Electric signed an agreement that prevented Ola Electric from publicly posting any telemetry data relating to the accident, which is signed with every client. As a result, Ola’s social media publication of telemetry data was a potential privacy breach on the seller’s part.
Is OLA Electric using twitter bots in favour of the brand?
Meanwhile, Reetam Singh, the accident victim, spoke with Mint about a recent pattern that he had seen. Reetam Singh, a lawyer at the Gauhati High Court, claimed his father’s tweet had gotten a lot of backlash from a number of accounts that followed a similar pattern.
Mint did an investigation and prepared a report on the subject. More than fifty accounts were alleged to have downplayed Balwant Singh’s criticism, according to the investigation. Surprisingly, the majority of accounts were formed in or after 2021, with many being made in March or April 2022. Multiple accounts were discovered to tweet the same thing or address similar themes on multiple occasions. The accounts were found to use the same hashtags on tweets about Ola and other Twitter trends in the majority of cases. This could point to a possible collaboration with agencies tasked with promoting and maintaining the brand’s positive image.
Around 100 accounts were discovered to routinely like, repost, and commend Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Aggarwal’s tweets and other detailed content on Ola Electric’s ‘Make in India’ ambition, its two-wheeler plant, and its all-women staff.
Notably, these accounts were discovered to actively retweet posts from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), Disney+ Hotstar, RealMe, Naveen Jindal, and some political accounts belonging to Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Ajay Bhatt, Manoj Yadav, and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Party. Trending hashtags like #Corbevax and #Singham were also tweeted about in a coordinated fashion from these accounts.
When asked for comment on the Reetam Singh incident and charges that Ola Electric used a bot army to maintain its social media image, the firm did not react.