In election season, social media turns political
Apr 4, 2019, 3:59 PM IST
New Delhi: As India turns a digital society, social media has started playing a significant role in democracy. The election campaign has been switching to the digital arena for the past few years.
Online voter registration and transparency campaign were started for the first time in the 2009 general election.
In 2014, mass use of the social media by politicians was observed. The BJP was ahead of the competition in this medium. The AAP used WhatsApp remarkably.
Politicians have found a new way to reach out to young voters. Today, Facebook has around 270 million users and Twitter around 34 million accounts of Indians. Around 70% -75% of its users are between 18 and 35 years old. BJP’s victory in 2014 was attributed partly due to its high-voltage social media campaign addressing the youth.
Social media is a platform where
• Politicians can promote themselves without getting interrupted by journalists.
• They can invite people to participate in discussion on some issues of public interests.
Social Media is a platform of voiced opinions. This has become a new medium to reach out to the voters. Even though political parties continue to use posters, cut outs etc in their rallies, becoming digital has changed the scenario of Indian politics.
At the same time, government officials have started to recognise the threat of fake news. The Election Commission has launched aggressive media campaigns to educate voters about their constitutional obligations.
The 2014 general election was called in some quarter social media election. Watch out for various kinds of campaigning of different political parties on social media platforms in 2019.