Social media are playing an important new role in Indian democracy. A social media campaign by the Electoral Commission drew record levels of voter registration and turnout in elections held in four Indian states, including the capital, New Delhi, in November and December. Political parties are also embracing social media to reach voters, including instant messaging. Social media are credited with helping the new party win a surprise victory in Delhi against the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.
The BJP has been the first national political party to have embraced technology to reach out to voters, with a Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, mobile app and live streaming over the internet. Its controversial leader Narendra Modi –- who some believe could become India’s next prime minister -– has over 3,229,955 followers. However studies show Congress party and its leaders as having a wider reach through social media.
With social media as an established campaign platform for Loksabha election 2014, Election Commission should define and explain the rules of the same regarding the creation of virtual images of leaders and their party. The Electoral Commission of India has asked social media providers to monitor their sites for fraud in the run-up to the general elections in April this year. That would be helpful. But Indian voters must also demand that their government bring transparency and accountability to electronic surveillance.Meanwhile, the Indian government has used the 2008 Information Technology (Amendment) Act to increase monitoring and censorship of social media.Last year, the government rolled out a Central Monitoring System with vast powers to monitor citizens’ communications. Human Rights Watch called the new system “chilling” in its scope. According to Freedom House, India had the steepest decline in Internet freedom of any country in the year ending in April 2013.Several online tools like Twitter audit (www.twitteraudit.com), fake follower check of people (http://fakers.statuspeople.com) revealed BJP Prime Ministerial candidate to have lot of fake followers.
Social media can also be subject to significant abuse.Among Indian politicians, Modi appears to be the leading politician on virtual media.He has been accused of boosting his apparent popularity on social media with legions of followers who don’t exist and of using social media to smear their opponents.Investigative websiteshave uncovered shocking facts that about two dozen little known IT companies are misusing social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to artificially boost politician’s popularity and malign their rivals, with many firms claiming to be working for BJP and Narendra Modi. These companies hack into the IP addresses of others to provide fake fan following and posting defamatory content. They run this “shady” online reputation management business offering clients fake fan-following on Facebook and Twitter and do negative publicity against a political leader or a party, or a corporate house, at the behest of their opposite camp, all for money. Narendra Modi’s name is alleged to have been revealed by many such IT companies as their #1 client.
They would post negative content online from countries like the US or Korea, to avoid detection of its source, use assembled computers for negative campaign and destroy them after the project is over and use proxy codes in a way that their locations change every hour, making detection difficult. These teams make negative content against oppositional leaders and party, positive content for Modi, for creating communal profiles, for creating funny caricatures, fake profiles, drafting etc. Some companies across India and abroad from specific regions are doing this type of works and get earned. The people engaged in the teams are professionals and trained. They are very crazed and not feared. They are doing it cleverly and common people are watching regularly. They know it well in social media there is no limit to spread world.
You can check these facts without any online tool by applying logical and analytical sense. The actual fact behind these huge numbers of followers can be realized if you are online savvy. Modi has been alleged to be involved in activities to create fake followers and at the same time buy real followers with money and other remunerations. The inactive followers of Narendra Modi are computer generated bots. Fake followers can be bought based on the geographic area and interest.
Indian National Congress has always been dependent on voluntary activists all over the country. These activists have been the true strength of the party and they are the followers of the party in all kinds of social media. These followers are worthy because they are quantitative and qualitative. History has always proved that movements with real people involved in it have been victorious.