Media

Despite goof ups galore, media outlets are claiming Congress is winning social media space

In last one week, there have been at least SEVEN (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) mainstream publications all praise for Congress’s social media “resurgence”, claiming that Congress has now got its act together on social media.

This despite the fact the Congress social media team is facing some brutal times on social media recently. Yesterday, Congress social media team got trolled for bringing back Indira Gandhi from the dead for inaugurating a bridge in West Bengal in 1992, 8 years after she she was assassinated.

Later, they deleted the original tweet and posted another one with correct information that the foundation was laid by Indira Gandhi in 1972, but it took twenty long years to complete and inaugurate the bridge.

This is not the first goof up. In last few weeks, Congress’ Twitter handle has seen series of slip-ups which made them butt of all jokes on Twitter. Their #KnowYourLegacy question backfired, and they got trolled for the #KnowYourLegacy quiz which came back to haunt them about the horrors from the time of Congress misrule. They had also goofed up in dates while paying tributes on death anniversary. They had written the date of death (27th September, 1833) before date of birth (22nd May, 1772) which appears as if he was born on 27th September, 1833 and passed away on 22nd May, 1772 which is just not possible.

Three of the above mentioned posts have carried an interview or a feature on Divya Spandana, crediting her with singlehandedly reviving Congress’ social media presence. News18 had written accolades calling her a vintage politician as she sat slowly sipping her espresso. The flattery was not even subtle. Less journalism, more PR plug:

“Well, Rahulji recently asked in Gujarat ‘what has happened to vikas’. And people responded by saying it’s gone crazy”, she replies, slowly sipping her espresso, referring to the popular memes the Congress has used on Twitter and Facebook in the poll-bound state to target the BJP.

That’s a vintage politician’s response! Especially, the subtle attribution of success to the leadership. Not overt. Not in your face. A mere passing under-statement of sorts to put across the point.

In May this year, Divya, the Kannada actress turned politician, also known by her screen name Ramya, was handpicked by Rahul Gandhi to handle Congress’ social and digital media. The article further states that the BJP is facing the heat since Spandana took over. Speaking on #KnowYourLegacy campaign, which has backfired more than once, the author says it has received tremendous response.

They also took tremendous pride in how the questions for the quiz are taken.

“We frame questions in our Twitter poll with a specific intent. For instance, the other day we asked who called Gandhiji as Mahatma. And we put RSS as an option,” said a member of Congress social media team.

Except the question backfired as RSS, which was a thoughtfully put option, won over the real answer, Rabindranath Tagore.

In another such interview to the DNA, Divya talks on how people are now willing to listen to Rahul Gandhi who is taken as a serious leader. I would like to take this opportunity to remind Divya about the lies (1, 2, 3) in last just one month other than the fact that he bats for dynasty in democracy like India and how under this “women empowerment” facade is a sexist Rahul Gandhi who judges women who don’t wear shorts.

This brings us back to the original point. Despite all these gaffes and social media and PR disasters, why exactly have 6 different publications almost simultaneously realized that Congress is the king of social media? Usually such accolades are reserved for post-election commentaries egs when BJP’s IT cell was lauded for the 2014 results. Here a student is being given the A grade a month before the exams (Gujarat elections)!

Seems like their six monthly review might be up soon.

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