How Data Science & Politics isn’t as Bad as You Think

by Ankit Kumar
3 months ago

Mass media communication medium are highly regulated by election commission of India, However, Social networking began to rise in popularity and has been a popular word in Indian Parliament election 2014. In 2012, The U.S. President, Barack Obama’s campaign used Facebook exceptionally to reach out the young voters, and it worked. This is has given our politicians a new medium to communicate with their audience and facilitate a new way to search and share information and increasing their awareness.

Social Media is a new definition of democracy – of the people, for the people and by the people. It is all about transparency, opinion, spreading the words and the best part is it is available to everyone. This has minimized the fraudulent activities and a feedback is available in no time. Social media has exposed so many political gaps which forced the administration to work for the people making them responsible for every question asked. In 2018, the state of economy is now better than what it was in 2014. If we look at the BJP election 2014, the campaign designed by Prashant Kishore, had taken the country by storm. Just by using the hologram of technology they gained a sentimental inclination projecting a dream of prosperous India under his leadership.

Youth Participation In Election

BJP’s IT team monitored the social media that surrounded discussions over the Internet. Even if relevant hash-tags weren’t necessarily used, volunteers still were able to send messages personally and responded to potential voters in real-time. All the insights and patterns were then used to create the political tactics and comprehensive vision of the political party. More than 45% of respondents agreed with “prioritizing toilets, before temples” and these respondents turned out to be part of the floating voter segment. With increasing number of debates surrounding the subject “Swachh Bharat”, eventually there was a positive sentiment towards it. As a result, the initial 45% support shot up to 68% within just 48 hours!

In the context of relationship between politicians, social media and public, identifies number of functions that Internet have as follows:

  • Politicians promote their controlled speech and present their point of view without being interrupted by journalists or by media format limitation.
  • Social media has given privilege for politicians to post a presumptive political agenda.
  • By means of social media, political parties or politicians can mobilize public and invites them to participate in discussion on some issues of public interest.
  • By using the social media tools, politicians and political parties interacts apparently with more efficiently with their supporters, beyond institutional and bureaucratic rigors.

Technology & ElectionsPolitical parties are already leveraging data analytics solutions to reach out to probable voters. Big Data Analytics are playing a vital role not only in India but across the globe. Using Big Data, Data Mining and Machine learning, a large amount of useful information has helped them to target the voter even more smartly, wholeheartedly and listen to their voice.  It uses artificial intelligence techniques, neural networks, and advanced statistical tools (such as cluster analysis) to reveal trends, patterns, and relationships, which might otherwise have remained undetected.

The UP BJP has nearly 34 lakh followers on Facebook, while the party’s Twitter handle in the state has about 10 lakh followers. Nearer to the 2019, Lok Sabha elections, the party plans to increase WhatsApp groups run to counter “propaganda” as well as to popularise party’s line. IT cell has 8 lakh cadres which is connected to 2 crore people via social media. IT department would run a NaMo App campaign to connect more and more people with NaMo App in November.

Media, content and audience within the communication process in relation to the political content, one can safely assert that if not a change, the new media has certainly brought an extension with its characteristics to the existing patterns of the political campaign. Looking the steps that the politicians and the political parties are taking towards utilizing the data analytics via social media and the number of people getting involved from the statistics given above, it clears that the politicians are cleverly and directly communicating with the masses, it is quite possible that to say that they are influencing the behavior of the voters and also leveraging the power of information technology to reach out the probable voters.

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