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<nettime> Promoting a Messaiah - the Hindu nationalist agenda and Facebook in India

sacw.net - 3 May 2019
[Excerpt from ’The Real Face of Facebook in India: How Social Media
Have Become a Weapon and Dissemninator of Disinformation and
Falsehood’ by Cyril Sam and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta (April 2019)
Published by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta ]
Promoting a Messaiah - the Hindu nationalist agenda and Facebook in India
by Cyril Sam, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

“The 2014 Modi pre-election campaign was inspired by the 2012 campaign
to elect Barack Obama as the “world’s first Facebook President.” Some
of the managers of the Modi campaign like Jain were apparently
inspired by Sasha Issenberg’s book on the topic, The Victory Lab: The
Secret Science of Winning Campaigns. In the first data-led election in
India in 2014, information was collected from every possible source to
not just micro-target users but also fine-tune messages praising and
“mythologizing” Modi as the Great Leader who would usher in acche din
(good times) for the country.“
[ . . . ]
“Earlier, in 2015, the Modi government rallied support for the social
media platform by announcing an e-governance scheme called “Digital
India” – all government departments, ministers and bureaucrats were
asked to create Facebook pages to reach out to their friends and
constituents. In effect, Facebook became the default communication
platform for the government of India. In the years that followed,
supporters of the BJP started “weaponizing” Facebook, Instagram and
WhatsApp to target voices critical of Modi and his party. [ . . . ]
FULL TEXT AT: http://www.sacw.net/article14092.html
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