As authorities struggled to control farmer unrest in Madhya Pradesh in which five farmers were killed by police fire on June 6, they searched in vain for leaders with whom they could negotiate. But, it turned out the farmers spoke for themselves, organising through social media and refusing to cede their cause to “spokesmen” or groups that claimed to represent farmers’ interests. Using the excuse of fake news and untrammeled rumour-mongering, internet services were shut down in several districts. But surely part of the reason was the effectiveness with which farmers had coordinated online. “Our message,” said one farmers union leader, “was to keep one hand on the tractor steering wheel and the other on the phone to send tweets.” And why are we so surprised that farmers know how to use their phones?