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On The Role Of Social Media In The Delhi Elections

Leading up to the state elections held in five Indian states this past week, the question that heard often was about whether the massive Social Media campaigns run by political parties in India would have an impact: my take had been that activity on Social Media was a storm in a tea cup, and while I did not think that it would have had a direct impact on election results, because the voting population far exceeded that on social media, it would have a significant indirect impact through the mainstream media. After polling in Delhi last week, I realized it was otherwise: what Social Media has done in these elections is that it brought out the vote. People may or may not have been influenced by the campaigns run by political parties, but the incessant debate, raising of issues, criticism, and the conversations, the fight and even the hate-commentary that ensued, led to there being a voter - at least in Delhi - that was more aware of the political atmosphere, more conscious that her vote matters, and more responsive to calls for getting out the vote. This is not to take away from the stellar work done by the Aam Aadmi Party in creating a credible third party in Delhi, and going and speaking with voters about their issues, and for the first time in this country's history, releasing manifestos for each constituency that directly addressed local problems, but even those who didn't support them benefited from their effort…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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