Modi wins battle of hashtags as total tweets on polling days stand at 1.74mn

As per data by Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi, total number of tweets during the 7 phases of polling stood at 1,327,019 retweets, 52,260 quotes, and 366,092 original tweets

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Published: May 22, 2019 9:29 AM  | 2 min read
Prime Minister Modi

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections were as interesting on Twitter timelines as it was on the ground at the 542 constituencies that went to polls this season. The 280-character platform was used aggressively on the recently concluded seven-phase election with a total of 1.74 million tweets on the polling days.

Used for the third time to fight out a parallel battle of trends and hashtags in the general elections ever since it was founded in 2006, Twitter saw an unprecedented participation fervor in political discussions and mentions on all seven phases of the polls this time around.

According to experts political discussions on Twitter during the polls have shot up at least 10X against numbers in 2014 polls. As per data shared by the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi, the total number of tweets on the seven phases of polling stood at 1,327,019 retweets, 52,260 quotes, and 366,092 original tweets.

Twitter doesn't quite follow the rule of secret ballot. As the 8049 candidates fought it out in the 36 states, a huge percentage from the total of 903,700,000 voters aired their opinion on Twitter about their affiliations and their favorite candidates. If Twitter timelines are anything to go by-by the virtue of pure statistics Modi is already a winner on the medium.

Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, Associate Professor at IIIT Dehi and IIIT Hyderbad, said, “We have noticed a high correlation between the actual voter turn out with the total tweets posted. In all phases at least 2 of the top 5 mentions handles is BJP related, one of the phases had 4 of the top 5 mentions from BJP.” In phase 3, 4 out of the 5 top mentions were @narendramodi, @BJP4India, @AmitShah and @BJP4Rajasthan.

Talking of hashtags 861 unique hashtags were created during the seven phases. Again in the battle of hashtags, Modi stood out as the clear winner. “In all phases, one of the top 5 hashtags is with #Modi or #NaMo,” said Kumaraguru.

Data also shows the number of verified handles tweeting this poll season stood at 3,218. The verified handle tweeting and political parties and candidates themselves tweeting is now an indispensable part of the election story. The trend sure has come a long way from where it stood a decade ago in 2009, as Twitter started to gain popularity in the country. Back then, it was only Narendra Modi and Shashi Tharoor who used Twitter. Looks like #NaMo has grabbed the early prize and advantage here.

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