What Twitter ‘Likes’ Tell Us About Narendra Modi And Rahul Gandhi
Despite joining Twitter several years after Modi, Rahul Gandhi has liked far more tweets than the prime minister.
Despite joining Twitter several years after Modi, Rahul Gandhi has liked far more tweets than the prime minister.(Photo: Aroop Mishra/ The Quint)

What Twitter ‘Likes’ Tell Us About Narendra Modi And Rahul Gandhi

Twitter ‘likes’, the heart-shaped button which was earlier known as ‘favourites’, often tell us a lot about a Twitter user. For most Twitter users, it is a form of engagement through which they show their approval towards a particular tweet, but it is not equal to a retweet, in which they choose to share someone else’s tweet with their followers.

So, what do Twitter likes tell us about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his main rival, Congress President Rahul Gandhi?

Despite joining Twitter several years after Modi, Rahul Gandhi has liked far more tweets than the prime minister.

Photo Courtesy: Screenshot from Twitter
A quick analysis of the Twitter profiles of both Rahul and Modi shows that while the Congress president has liked 329 tweets so far (from 2015 to 2019), Modi, in his nine-and-half-years of Twitter life (he joined Twitter in 2009), hasn’t liked a single post.
Photo Courtesy: Screenshot from Twitter
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We took a quick look to see what kind of posts got a thumbs-up from the Congress president. Mostly, Rahul Gandhi liked posts of fellow Congress leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and Shashi Tharoor or those by the leaders of Congress’ allies, like DMK leader MK Stalin.

He has also liked posts by journalists, activists and celebrities.

At a time when political leaders display cut-throat tactics to bring down the competition, Rahul Gandhi, surprisingly, has also liked tweets of parties that are not allies of the Congress.

Recently, Rahul gave a thumbs-up to Mamata Banerjee’s tweet, in which she talked about the ‘political vendetta by BJP’.

AISF leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s post also got a ‘like’ from the Congress president.

He has also liked Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and senior BJP leader Shatrugnan Sinha’s tweets on Kerala floods.

Rahul Gandhi’s stance of freely liking tweets from non-UPA politicians and non-political figures may stem from the Twitter persona he has cultivated – of being an approachable, affable person. The seemingly-random nature of his likes also indicates a certain spontaneity.

This is in contrast to PM Modi’s Twitter persona, which appears more distant and planned.

The image Rahul is portraying offline has been no different. His act of suddenly hugging PM Modi in Parliament is a case in point. Perhaps that was an offline version of a ‘like’.

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