Ours is an age of digitization. Most of us are avid technology lovers. We shop online, we order groceries online, and we even buy precious items online sometimes. People have more contacts on Facebook, Twitter, and various social media platforms than the people we actually know. We get regular updates about our favorite celebrities through these platforms.
Cash for Tweets
We get a better insight about the lives of our favorite celebs, we get to know more about their likes and dislikes, views and opinions. This is an absolute no brainer that we tend to follow the trends and even ideologies supported by them. There is no harm in doing that, we can follow who we like. But what if we say that the opinions expressed by some celebrities are not their own, they are just advertisements for which they are paid a hefty price.
Shocking, yes we are all very shocked with the latest revelations by a sting operation done by Cobra post. Cobra post has been a well-known name when it comes to stinging operations. This morning at a press conference, editor-in-chief of Cobrapost informed the media that they have a sting operation of as many as 30 celebrities. These celebrities are being shown as agreeing to tweet or post in favor of political parties in lieu of money.
Operation Karaoke by Cobrapost
Operation Karaoke by Cobrapost had its reporters posing as representatives from a public relations company and meeting actors, singers, dancers, and TV stars through their managers to allegedly strike a deal ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Most of the celebrities agreed to tweet content which was being provided to them to shape the opinions of people about a particular event or political party. The cost of each tweet or post varied from Rs2 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Most of the people involved agreed when asked if it is fine to be paid in cash, while some were ready to give their bank details and PIN numbers. They were ready to defend the government on controversial issues like Rape and bridge accidents. Some were also ready to sign contracts with the PR agency. See the video below :
Cash for Tweets- 36 celebrities caught in Sting operation by Cobrapost. Video Credits –Deccan Herald
More than 30 Bollywood celebrities, including Jackie Shroff, Kailash Kher, Sonu Sood, and Vivek Oberoi have allegedly been involved in this sting operation.
Apart from Shroff, Kher, Sood and Oberoi, those who agreed to tweet for money included names such as Shreyas Talpade, Sunny Leone, Shakti Kapoor, Ameesha Patel, Tisca Chopra, Rakhi Sawant, TV star Pankaj Dheer and son Nikitin Dheer, Puneet Issar, Raju Srivastava, Krushna Abhishek and Vijay Ishwarlal Pawar (VIP) were also part of the list.
However, there were few like Saumya Tandon, Raza Murad, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan who refused to do any paid promotions.
This is however still quite one-sided accusation as we are yet to hear what most of the celebrities involved have to say. Sonu Sood and Hiten Tejwani have openly denied the accusations and have termed it as a doctored video, where only half of the conversations are being shown.
Sood released a statement where he said that his conversation with outlet’s representatives was “wrongly reproduced and projected“. “This is a clear case of sabotage. The editing has been tampered with and an only certain elements of the conversation has been used and projected in the wrong light,” he said.
The actor said it is regular for brands, political parties, and corporates to use celebrities’ social media platforms for promotions. He promoting them is not wrong as long as one believes in the product and the ideology. “With reference to the contract, I had also clearly stated that I want everything to be officially put on paper as that is the regular protocol,” he added.