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There’s An Army Of Indian Twitter Accounts Pushing Suspiciously Identical Pro-Mining Tweets

The accounts appear to post tweets with very specific talking points.

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Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull met with Indian mining boss Gautam Adani last week over the future of a controversial coal project on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Adani mining company is seeking a $900 million loan from Australian taxpayers for the project, which would see the development of the biggest coal mine in Australia.There's been intense opposition from environmental groups, which claim the Carmichael coal mine would increase global greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.
Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

The Adani mining company is seeking a $900 million loan from Australian taxpayers for the project, which would see the development of the biggest coal mine in Australia.

There's been intense opposition from environmental groups, which claim the Carmichael coal mine would increase global greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef.

When Adani met with Turnbull last week, the mining boss tweeted this picture which showed the men with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Happy to meet with Australian PM today. Working together for economic growth and stronger Australia India ties.

But when the replies to the tweet started rolling in, it was clear that several were pushing a very specific talking point.

Twitter

The accounts posting the replies, which are all based in India, used three hashtags (#Queensland, #Adani and #Carmichael) and suggested the mine would be great for Queensland jobs.

Twitter

Of those Indian tweeters, all were followed by two accounts pushing similar messages.

Twitter

It's not the first time this has happened. Earlier this month, pro-Adani tweeters pushed out a message about the company's history of debt repayments, some with a link to a 2016 Economic Times interview with Adani.

Twitter

Again, the message was the same.

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And again, a quick look at their Twitter bios shows they are followed by other pro-Adani accounts. Unlike other Twitter "bots", all of them have thousands of followers and have tweeted hundreds of thousands of times.

Twitter

A few days earlier, it was a YouTube video featuring columnist and marketing man Suhel Seth arguing in favour of the Adani coal mine.

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BuzzFeed News spoke to one of the pro-Adani tweeters @Anmol_77. Despite all the users tweeting the same messages at the same time, he said they didn't know each other.

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He admitted to being pro-Adani but couldn't answer why they were all using the same language and message.

Twitter

BuzzFeed News sent questions to the Adani mining company, asking whether it's aware of the activity from the accounts.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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