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How Elections are fought in the times of Social Media

In India’s Lok Sabha elections last year, social media played an important part. There were campaigns and debates held on different platforms. Twitter and Facebook came up with different options for the first time so users can track election. I covered some of the aspects here.

After the success of the Indian elections, technological organizations headed towards different destinations to implement and improve on what they had achieved. In Brazil, Twitter encouraged leaders to use Twitter and Vine.

Facebook rolled out the “I am a voter” option in different countries. Google had dedicated portals for public information and trends. For UK election, Twitter has a new feature where parties can post ads according to the postcode of the tweets from different users.

If we head back home, for Delhi elections, Narendra Modi is installing Selfie booths at various places. This allows the users with an app in the booth to get a picture clicked with Narendra Modi.

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Everyone knows that Modi is a social media buff, so he is riding on the jubilance of his “Chai Pe Charcha” campaign in 2014 and has rolled out the same model for the Delhi elections. Various leaders of BJP are connecting to people through Google hangouts.

Meanwhile, AAP is strongly campaigning on Twitter. And in December, Arvind Kejriwal joined WhatsApp in December. He asked people to connect with him and share the issues and opinions they are facing.

All the parties and leaders have their dedicated Facebook pages. On which they post important updates and pictures of their proceedings. Apart from that, various videos are made and released on Facebook and YouTube as a part of the campaign.

Targeted ads are new means to reach people. Parties are rolling out automated banner ads in different games on the mobile platform. Also, they are sending out SMSes and automated calls using web services.

Apps are another way to track the elections or get some information. Electoral office of Delhi has released their official app. AAP has their dedicated app called The Mango App.

News channels have been tracking the mood of the Delhi state’s public with social media analytics. Opinion Polls are held through the internet. There is one Android app called Delhi Election 15 which allows you to mock vote. OPIndia also has a vote predictor contest.

Election information and campaigning methods are switching from traditional to internet slowly. And Social media is creating a big impact on the results as well. It will be interesting to see the results and implication of technology on politics

(written by @IndianIdle)

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