wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Study: WhatsApp being used extensively for political campaigning in global south

Source: Pinterest

Tactical Tech has done a study on how WhatsApp is a pioneer in political PR on a global scale. The research concluded that WhatsApp is functioning as the primary medium for political marketing in the Global South — countries in South Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Political parties are now having entire campaigns that are specifically designed for WhatsApp. The research says that the strong penetration of WhatsApp in rural communities where internet is only accessed through smartphones might be among the reasons behind this.

Primed for virality

WhatsApp allows creating groups of up to 256 people, which lets campaigners access a large number of people in one go. Even though the messages sent in groups are essentially broadcasted, they directly reach a user’s phone which makes it ‘personal’, Tactical Tech said — voters feel a ‘direct link’ with their politicians. The messages are encrypted and can easily become viral. Also, as the study points out, communication over WhatsApp is inexpensive.

“It is not uncommon to find online and offline courses on how to use WhatsApp in political campaigns (and marketing in general) targeted at users in countries such as Brazil,” the study pointed out.

How WhatsApp campaigning happens

“Databases are gathered by marketing experts and communication companies,” the study says, “who bring their own database of consumers (from other marketing projects, not necessarily related to politics) and expand them from there.” Some databases of contacts are also sold online. Some senders even use automated systems which can send 1000s of messages at once. There are even workarounds that let you make a group of more than 256 people.

Involvement of the Telcos

There is a lack of systems to check on net neutrality, which means telecom companies can block or slow down networks for certain sites or platforms according to their wishes, meaning that telecoms can block or slow down access to certain sites or platforms. The research says that zero rating, where some sites and services are free, is also a powerful instrument behind this flourishing WhatsApp marketing.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Zero rating has been banned in India since 2016.

The WhatsApp political marketing industry misuses a lot of personal information to make their campaigns successful. The recent incidents of mob lynchings gives a fair idea of how dangerous and influential WhatsApp rumours can be.

In a recent letter to Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), WhatsApp said that it has been working to combat the fake news problem.

Written By

Intern at MediaNama So, I come here to look out of the window while jamming to Kishore Kumar and write sometimes.

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

Views

News

India and US come to terms on how to deal with the equalisation levy in light of the impending Global Tax Deal.

News

Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.

News

The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ