Congress has enjoyed an undue advantage of a co-opted main stream media print and electronic, It’s contented in the knowledge that it’s messages and spins are being disseminated non stop. It totally ignored the new emerging technical tools naturally!
Plenty has been spoken and written about social media in the past couple of years.
What is social media? Web definitions : Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques.
There are 13 most popular social networking sites. My focus is going to be solely on Twitter, this is the platform which has emerged as the one that congress party wants to dominate. Media and it’s venerable personnel are often heard complaining about Twitter.
Majority of main stream English media is left leaning both Electronic & Print. This has prevented Right of center views and voices from being heard. Advent of Twitter has made it possible for a very large section of the Indian society which was hitherto voiceless, not because it could not speak, but on account of no one willing to permit their voices to be heard.
Twitter became the natural choice for Right of center leaning people, these are well educated, young go getter earning very decent salaries and extremely tech savvy. The last quality of Tweeple is proving to be a real thorn in the side of Congress and media. In real world CBI and a collusive media can weaken the cases or can pointedly refuse to look at clues and evidence. On the net that is not happening, these tech savvy users not just pick up the finger prints but gather incontrovertible evidence.
This has lead to a running conflict with main stream English media and it’s venerated population, who were more accustomed to speaking down to us people without hearing from us. Twitter flattened the Earth much to their chagrin. 2010 December I wrote my first article about the pressure that was being exerted on main stream media.
Initial reaction of main stream media was dismissive, as was that of the Congress party. In the year 2012 Government brought amendments to Information Technology act sec66A.
All this while users of Twitter were multiplying at a reasonably high rate and almost all were questioning the main stream English media for it’s slanted and at times totally wrong reportage. Twitter is emerging as a primary source of information and a hub for Political debates.
While media continued it’s tirade against Twitter and Tweeple government went a step further during Assam riots it unilaterally issued instructions to local ISPs to block Twitter accounts under pretext of spreading rumors leading to exodus of Indians from North East residing in different cities in India back to their native states.
Tweeple have played a very positive role in times of crisis and emergencies, be it Twin blast in Mumbai in 2011, recent Assam riots, drought in Maharashtra, and Uttrakhand tragedy. Funds have been raise volunteers have gone on site to assist in rehabilitation.
Political leaders of various parties have also signed up and do interact with general public. Mr. Narendra Modi had extensively deployed Social media in 2012 Gujaratelections. This made Congress take notice and realize it was miles behind on the social media front. In its typical arrogance it deployed a few ministers and senior members to take on Mr.Modi. However the response that came was not always from him, but from the general public and that can be an unnerving experience for new user like Congress.
Media in the meantime came up with a theory that Social Media could influence between 165 to 210 seats in forthcoming General Elections. This was not a finding of media’s own but from a Knowledge foundation body and the study was backed by the Internet & Mobile Association body. This study shows that that Social media users may be the new island of new vote bank that conventional political class has to worry about. The report suggests that by the time India goes to poll in 2014 the SM users number would remain close to 80Mn. Add to this 25Mn NRIs those who now have voting rights. Even if they are not present physically to press the voting button, they still remain huge influencing block.
Based on the SM users intensity, the study details there are 160-High impacting constituencies, 67 medium constituencies and 60 other low or no impacting constituencies!
Findings such as these caused panic in Congress ranks and soon enough a new cell was created with a liberal budget to make it effective and dominant player on Social Media. But the problem was, they did not have the wherewithal nor the block of the new tech-savvy SM users were not ready to be influenced by its cosmetic means.
Twitter is not a forum for gladiatorial competition, who is to explain this to Congress and main stream media which just can’t accept the fact they no longer call the shots and the world does not revolve around them. Expectedly Congress could not cope up with the steady barrage of damaging Tweets on a daily basis, besides having to live with a diminished effect of media which was being challenged and exposed daily by Tweeple.
Ah there was also an event “Who’s afraid of the Social Media” Paranoia in media and Congress is palpable.
‘If you have the money, you can bribe your way through’ had been guiding principle since times immemorial for Congress. So it started the recruitment drive, to no effect, hired journalists specifically for the Social Media cell results awaited. In the mean times the challenges started to increase and arrogance demanded domination, sycophancy dictated positive outcomes to be placed before the presiding deities, what was then going to hold them back ? Soon fake identities began to be created for the sole purpose of posing a challenge to Mr. Modi. Unfortunately, all this came to a naught, as the tech savvy opponents exposed all their dirty tricks.
Congress wants to win a modern day war with antiquated weaponry and political relics.
Two avoidable practices that have come about on Twitter. Trending a Topic and #Hashtag war.
Trending a Topic
Trending a topic on Twitter is juvenile, it’s no more than hearing a child state “My Daddy strongest.” This is an activity which minnows in political parties can use to ingratiate themselves with their senior party leaders who either are uninformed or pre-occupied with far more serious issue. Trending neither establishes nor delivers anything. At most it gets the bearer of such tiding to the seniors a shabaash and a perfunctory pat on the back.
Hashtags are created for a specific purpose or an event, which enable the creator to impart a distinct identity to the event on Twitter and also carry our post event analysis. #Pappu or #Pappucii both is specific to a person and event cannot be hijacked by other for reverse targeting. While #Feku is generic this was hijacked and employed to target the creator. Congress Cyber Coolies appropriately called as e-NREGA by netizens are persisting with this, due lack of creativity to generate a specific Hashtag for their obvious target.
Hashtag wars on twitter are like the show “Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain” This is another illusion that Congress needs urgently, to infuse hope into its cadre which is totally demoralized by what is unfolding before their eyes. No antidote to that one man who seems to be demolishing Congress bit by bit everyday.
Congress has already obtained a favorable verdict for one such battle from the pliable and equally ignorant main stream English media #Pappucii Vs #Feku where it was evident that #Feku had been used against the creator in higher proportion than against the intended target. NDTV did start a new series Truth Vs Hype honestly NDTV itself is a hype.
The next episode of this Hashtag war unfolded on the 11th Aug when Mr. Modi was addressing a rally in Hyderabad. Congress pumped in money to create fake accounts and tweet #FekuExpress as it’s #FekuonSale had been thwarted in pre-infancy stage.
Result of this latest war is clear #Fekuexpress Vs #NaMoInHyd 1:3 is the Tweet ratio. However using the resources at it’s disposal relics of Congress managed to obtain a fake victory which they can now carry as proof to their leaders and boast of good work done.
Twitter is a democratic platform and democracy congress loathes. Twitter offers freedom of speech, congress believes it’s a divine right accorded through the royal decree from Nehru-Gandhi parivar (clan). It’s immune to manipulation and subversion, congress firmly believes there is nothing that it can’t manipulate and subvert.
Coercion and money power can and will be employed liberally to satiate the appetite of the clan for dominating Twitter.