Article 2 | Celebrating Democracy: Indian General Elections – A Battle in Tweets and Hashtags

The swords for the election battle in India are being drawn not only across the political parties but also across families and friends. WhatsApp groups and Facebook posts are now the new battlegrounds. Family, school, college and friends’ WhatsApp groups have become mini-campaign areas where forwarding news items favourable to respective parties and creating jokes and illustrations on the opposing candidates is the new norm.

While the traditional modes of election campaigning like political rallies, posters, door to door campaigning continue, the real perception battle is now being fought in the digital space. The stupendous number of users on these medias have made political parties extremely conscious of their reach. WhatsApp in India has a user base of 200 million monthly active users. Facebook and Twitter account for 307 million users. The sheer scale of these users has brought election campaigning directly into the living spaces of the voters.

To learn how the digital space is shaping strategy in the Indian elections, read our full paper here.