Until yesterday, I used to believe that any publicity is good publicity. However, when Congress leader Digvijay Singh dug (pun intended) a well for himself by making a sexist remark on a fellow female politician, I realised that I couldn’t be more wrong.
Singh called Meenakshi Natarajan ‘100 per cent tunch maal’ and instantly attracted negative fame all over social media. Comments ranging from offensive nicknames for Singh to blunt rage were witnessed as the news kept spreading on the social network. While I chose not to comment on Singh’s lack of mannerism or respect for women, I would like to point out that if our dear politician had a little social media knowledge, he would have known that a sexist remark made in any part of the world will not go unnoticed.
At the stake of being called hounds and insensitive, media manages to report almost every single thing, which now with the help of social media spreads and then is put for trial. For instance, I witness a news somewhere, share the link on my social pages on which my friends like, share or comment and give their individual perspective or verdict.
With social media giving the power to express views fearlessly, the new trend seen is ‘Trial by social media’. Unlike trials by media, trials by social media do not impose their verdict, yet are stronger than the former. Trial by social media generates a collective voice that represents the citizens of the country, who now are usually angry at the authorities.
In an era of such social awareness, the smallest of remarks can get you in the limelight that you don’t wish to be in. With the General Elections next year, something that could help our authorities is getting a little social networking knowledge. While their digital and PR agencies will manage their best and shoot out guidelines, nothing can help politicians more than understanding the power of social media themselves.
Strong political campaigns on mobile and social media will not work if ministers continue to make such faux pas. In technical terms, it’s time that the campaigns are connected to real time marketing so as to make the TG understand that the promises made online are not hoax and hold value. Meanwhile, with the approaching elections, social media users will continue to express their sentiments as ministers express theirs.