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The Mumbai Crime Branch, after diligently following a fake social media followers scam, interrogated rapper Badshah and accused him of buying fake views. The rapper, actual name- Aditya Prateik Singh Sisodia- was probed for 10 long hours hounded with a 238-question long list while being held for 2 consecutive days. Badshah has denied participating in any such unlawful activity.

Mumbai Police further claims that the famous singer-rapper bought additional views on one of his music videos by paying Rs 72 lakh, in a bid to break a ‘viewership record’ on YouTube. Officials also assert that Badshah actually confessed during the extensive questioning, saying he did purchase around 7.2 crore views in order to set a world record for the ‘most YouTube views in the first 24 hours’.

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What’s more is that the rapper had claimed that the music video for one of his songs ‘Pagal Hai’ had been watched 75 million times in only 24 hours, breaking previous records held by internationally acclaimed artists like Taylor Swift and the Korean boy band BTS. This claim has since been rejected by Google.

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“Apart from Pagal Hai, we are also scrutinizing his other songs posted on social media,” a Mumbai police official stated. After the news hit media platforms, famous singer-songwriter Sona Mohapatra took to twitter and criticised Badshah, calling him a ‘buyout’ and saying that the artist had ‘built his empire on matchsticks while the people around him fell for this game of perception’.

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Back in the month of July this year, Mumbai Police had unearthed an international racket involving the creation of fake social media profiles and likes, for both genuine and fake accounts, and other fraudulent activities by websites presenting themselves as social media marketing agencies. The police then summoned 18 celebrities, including film directors, choreographers, models and singers, who allegedly used the service of such websites to boost their presence online.

Badshah, who was previously surrounded in controversy over the incident of stealing lyrics for his song ‘Genda Phool’, was able to navigate out of it by paying a measly sum of- compared to the amount he had made on it- 5 lakh to Ratan Kahar who is attributed as the original composer of this song.

In a world governed by the number of likes or views one gets, it’s becoming harder each day to stick to one’s literary and philosophical principles. Moreover, with so much content being generated and uploaded every minute, the challenge that the internet casts at people is discoverability or the ability to get discovered by millions online.

Consequently, this never-ending race to reach the top among competitors certainly does become unpleasant. That’s why several content creators/owners today, do spend a significant amount of money so as to give themselves a push in what they think is the right direction. For now, we can only wait and see how the story develops further.

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