False Facebook “Likes” are to be monitored in light of Indian Elections

False Facebook “Likes” are to be monitored in light of Indian Elections

With the emergence of social media and the power that social media has to reach voters, especially of younger age groups. It is no wonder that Indian political parties are relying heavily on these social outlets. With half of India’s citizens under the age of twenty-five, it is perhaps the most cost-effective way in order to reach out to this age group. According to the article, “52,000 pages exist for politicians and political parties in India. Of them 60 are verified pages.” There is a massive amount of outsourcing fake “likes” and activity that promotes parties and can potentially persuade voters purely by their online presence. With “93 million monthly active users of Facebook” it is an engine that can have great potential. The BJP party has fully embraced social media and because of this may have better results with the conclusion of the election. The question that needs to be addressed is: Is buying fake “likes” and purchasing activity for social media pages to be frowned upon?

Facebook has taken it upon themselves to try and diminish as many of the fake “likes” and profiles that they can. However, it is inevitable that a great deal will slip through the cracks and continue to provide support for certain parties. It is a tactic that has only recently emerged and been embraced by political parties. In the United States. Social media and alternative sources of media have boomed in recent elections. Is this where elections will start to head in the future? With stronger focus on social media and less on actual campaigning? How much of a balance should be made going forward? I believe this current election will provide many answers. It will be interesting to see where politics lands with social media in the upcoming years.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/elections2014/election-beat/facebook-cracking-down-on-fake-likes-in-election-season/article1-1202499.aspx?hts0021

2 Responses to “False Facebook “Likes” are to be monitored in light of Indian Elections”

  1. hosorio says:

    I agree that buying “likes” on Facebook could greatly influence voters during elections. The amount of ‘likes’ on political candidates’ Facebook pages may not represent a true assessment of Indian citizens’ sentiments toward the government. I agree that this may increase candidates’ focus on social media rather than the act of campaigning by means of touring. Social media will definitely play an important role in elections in the future. Facebook, especially, has the ability to affect potential voters within India. With the Facebook mobile application currently available in nine Indian languages, increasing the opportunity of spreading opinions of the Indian government throughout the country has been made even more accessible.

    Facebook has recently created a new election-related feature that allows users to express ‘I’m a voter’ on their Facebook page. This could cause voters to encourage friends to participate in elections. If this trend continues, this could alter the age demographics of active voters, specifically younger voters.

    Many Indian Facebook users can see reminders on their ‘News Feed’ showing them where voting is occurring with the option of sharing this information with friends. According to the Hindustan Times, “Engagement is the core to social mobilization and opinion building.” Participation within social networking sites could possibly encourage participation within elections. The possible increase in new voters and the accessibility to share opinions via social media could greatly affect who is elected in the future.

  2. hosorio says:

    I agree that buying “likes” on Facebook could greatly influence voters during elections. The amount of ‘likes’ on political candidates’ Facebook pages may not represent a true assessment of Indian citizens’ sentiments toward the government. I agree that this may increase candidates’ focus on social media rather than the act of campaigning by means of touring. Social media will definitely play an important role in elections in the future. Facebook, especially, has the ability to affect potential voters within India. With the Facebook mobile application currently available in , increasing the opportunity of spreading opinions of the Indian government throughout the country has been made even more accessible.

    Facebook has recently created a new election-related feature that allows users to express on their Facebook page. This could cause voters to encourage friends to participate in elections. If this trend continues, this could alter the age demographics of active voters, specifically younger voters.

    Many Indian Facebook users can see reminders on their ‘News Feed’ showing them where voting is occurring with the option of sharing this information with friends. According to the Hindustan Times, “Engagement is the core to social mobilization and opinion building.” Participation within social networking sites could possibly encourage participation within elections. The possible increase in new voters and the accessibility to share opinions via social media could greatly affect who is elected in the future.

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