War, Lies and Hashtags

Pakistan's most notorious digital commander leads his cyber-army to the frontline of a propaganda war while struggling to make ends meet.

Dates

Online

Description

Farhan Virk is a household name in Pakistan’s Twittersphere. He is one of the country’s most controversial political influencers and claims he can make any hashtag trend nationally. A hyper-nationalist believed by many to be a state-sponsored troll, Virk commands Team Imran Khan, a Twitter army of more than 1,000 volunteers.

When India-Pakistan tensions flare, Virk mounts an online attack. His wife, who also leads a giant cyber-army, hatches a plan to infiltrate mainstream news across India. But how long can this infamous couple survive on the thrill of online propaganda warfare?

With bills mounting, the realities of adulthood are taking hold. Frustrated with financial instability but unable to give up his power on the internet, Virk comes up with another plan to monetise his digital base.

Hasham Cheema’s War, Lies and Hashtags is an exploration of social media, nationalism and the mainstreaming of a particularly hateful and divisive brand of populist politics in Pakistan. The film witnesses the historical confrontation between India and Pakistan through Virk’s world.