Sunday, May 12, 2019

Building an image using @Twitter ; the @narendramodi formula #KhanMarketGang

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that it is his “45 years of toil” and not the “Khan Market gang or Lutyens Delhi” that has created his image, and it cannot be dismantled, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.
On Twitter, Modi has 47.2 million followers making him the third most followed person on Twitter globally.
University of Michigan professor Joyojeet Pal argued that Prime Minister Modi revolutionized his political activism through social media.

“The reason that social media is important in the case of Narendra Modi is that the political actor can choose to use the social media as their primary line of output,” Pal said.

According to Pal, country size, elite affiliation and media logic are important in a politician’s decision to use social media as a tool for discourse.

Narendra Modi was originally depicted by the media in a negative light, particularly for his role during the Hindu-Muslim riots of 2002. Modi was criticized for failing to stop the riots in a timely manner as Chief Minister of Gujarat, a northern Indian state.
Modi was able to change his reputation through a strategic social media presence that includes a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook, an Instagram, a Pinterest and a YouTube channel where he puts his official radio speeches as well as other videos on topics such as how to live well.

Pal’s research shows that Modi’s sarcastic and ironic tweets are re-tweeted the most, a phenomenon shared by 2016 US Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

According to the research, Modi also tweets about international relations in the language of the countries he visits.

“He shows a real sensitivity to what the key topics are in that country in the ‘twitter-sphere’ when he goes there,” Pal said.

Joyojeet Pal is an associate professor at the School of Information at the University of Michigan.