Who Does Twitter Better, Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi?
Modi joined Twitter in 2009. Gandhi joined in 2015. Who’s leading now?
Since the 2014 General Elections, social media, especially Twitter (ever the more political platform than Facebook) has dramatically changed the way politicians run campaigns and how Indians interact with their elected officials.
Conventional methods of public gatherings and IVR calls from politicians took a backseat as parties spent a fortune leveraging the social media to reach out to the youth of their constituents. In fact, a big component of the BJP’s win was how they used social media and mass-messaging platforms like WhatsApp to reach out to people directly, without any intervention and also, filtration.
With the 2019 elections around the corner, it becomes interesting to see the ways in which the two front-runners for the Prime Minister’s post, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, use their Twitter profiles to engage with millions of people and carefully craft their public images.
Looking at how people respond to them on Twitter through analytics then becomes one of the keys to understanding which way the public sentiment is flowing.
Of course, this data is not to be seen in isolation from other essential clues like ground reports highlighting what the people want and whom they trust can give it to them. This data is also not without its flaws. It includes in its sample set perfunctory tweets like Easter and Republic Day wishes, congratulatory messages to award winners, condolences on deaths etc, and is not limited only to political tweets about their party or campaigns. Also, there remains the problems of computer bots as followers, along with fake profiles created by their individual party supporters, which are next to impossible to weed out from real followers.
However, it is beyond contention that Twitter is one of the primary battlefields to keep an eye out on with both contenders trying to woo the sizeable and zealous millennial demographic of India.
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