Indian software product think tank founder Sharad Sharma apologises for sock puppet accounts

Jayadevan PK May 23, 2017

Indian software products think tank iSpirt, which came under criticism last week for using sock puppet Twitter accounts to counter views made against India’s national identity system Aadhaar, will conduct an internal investigation to recommend revisions to its code of ethics and take corrective action.

“There was a lapse of judgement on my part. I condoned tweets with uncivil comments. So I’d like to unreservedly apologise to everybody who was hurt by them,” Sharad Sharma, the co-founder of iSpirt wrote on Tuesday. An internal committee comprising of six people has been formed.

“Anonymity seemed easier than propriety, and tired as I was by personal events and attacks on iSpirt’s reputation, I slipped,” he added. Sharma, who was accused of operating some of the sock puppet accounts said that he wouldn’t be part of anything like this again or allow such behaviour to happen.

Sharma’s apology did not specifically say he operated the two Twitter accounts — @Confident_ India and @Indiaforward2 — he is accused of being behind.

Last week, Bangalore based entrepreneur and internet activist Kiran Jonnalagadda, wrote that Sharma and a bunch of others from iSpirt were operating anonymous accounts to “troll” people with views against Aadhaar.

In the last few weeks, the Aadhaar debate has become intense. The Supreme Court is hearing a set of cases against linking Aadhaar with various government services.