26 November, 2020

A L’il Bird Told You

How Twitter helped in the micromanaging of Elections 2014

Illustration by Sorit
A L’il Bird Told You

The previous Lok Sabha elections were held in TV studios. However, this election has largely also been conducted on social media, especially on Twitter. This doesn’t mean that there were no rallies, roadshows, door-to-door campaigns or that they were ineffective. Just that, this time around, Twitter acted as an enabler or catalyst, and provided a boost to the happenings on the ground. Wherever there was a controversy or a heightened poll pitch, the roots often can reasonably be traced back to the ‘little bird’s nest’ called Twitter.

Observe most of the major candidates contesting the 2014 polls. All of them are active on Twitter. All of them have tweeted their thoughts. Leaders of all prominent parties have used Twitter to share their thoughts, to create controversy, to gauge the people’s mood, and to swing people’s opinion in their favour (during the 2009 elections, there was just one active politician on Twitter with 6,000 followers). The 140-character messaging was so effective that Twitter as a medium made the most news during the...



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