This article is being contributed as part of Shilpa Shrivastava Memorial Social Media and India project.
Everyday is same on Twitter in India. An outsider, who sees Twitter trends for the city of Delhi, would conclude that here is a nation keen to wash its dirty linen in public. Is it really our objective? Definitely not, but then this is how outside world looks at India’s presence on Social Media. If I think hard, my best statement remains, it is not that every person in our neighborhood is keen to destroy Brand India, it is just two or three organisations, who, for their self-serving social media supremacy, are doing collateral damage to Brand India.
This article, from here onwards, will be a quick insider’s write-up on what makes India’s Social Media Strategy fail, time and again.
Let us understand what does Made-for-Trending twitter account means. These are essentially the twitter accounts whose sole purpose is to go ahead and create Twitter and FB trends on a defined line of thought. Generally, these accounts, we will call them MFTs for convenience, are negative in their DNA. The minute I notice a hashtag which says #modihataodeshbachao or #kejriwalcircus or #pappu my first response is why are they doing this and when would it stop. My second reaction is a pat on the back of these guys who would just write about anything.
How does an outsider see this? An outsider is likely to feel that on one side Government of India is spending hundreds of millions of dollars and on the other side it looks like a country at complete unease with itself. Almost all MFT accounts are anonymous. Some are even egg accounts where the account holder hasn’t cared to put his own photograph in twitter account. All these accounts are parody accounts too.
Taking pole positions on Social Media is a lose–lose situation for everyone; just nobody gains. As on date, pole positions are being taken by people who support Kanhaiya Kumar and people who oppose him. Nobody is willing to look at filtering merits and cleaning up the demerits of this KK controversy. It is all about settling scores. If this attitude and FB and Twitter fights continue, I am sorry, India would never become great again.
Today, as I write this article, there is a # trending which says #BJPlovesAfzalguru. To everyone who is not Indian, this is a significant dilution of Brand India as on one side BJP is India’s ruling party and on other side its name is being linked with Afzal Guru who was hanged for planning successful attacks on Parliament. It is very sad to see Aam Admi Party’s verified account using this hashtag. It appears that for the party, which has come to existence for common people, damaging the very fabric of its existence is not important.
What can we do?
All those who believe in Nation first must consider doing the following:
- Blocking these accounts
- Reporting these accounts
- Following up and ensuring that these accounts are abandoned by the very people who are running them
- Threatening a legal suit if these accounts don’t stop damaging our country