Tag Archives: Social media

‘Patriotism’ Made Easy in Times of ‘WhatsApp Elections’

A WhatsApp-sponsored report, prepared in partnership with Queen Mary University, has raised the alarm that the 2019 elections in India, which already has cleavages on lines of caste, race, gender, religion, would be a fertile ground for damaging fake news.

‘Patriotism’ Made Easy in Times of ‘WhatsApp Elections’

There was a time when ‘Good Morning’ messages were causing much “pain” to internet giants?

It was the beginning of last year when the obsession of Indians with starting their day with a deluge of ‘Good Morning’ messages flooded WhatsApp, and generated a lot of chuckle. But it but also raised serious concerns such as the overloading WhatsApp servers, and clogging Android phones.

We were told how millions of Indians were getting online for the first time and how everyone was getting hooked on to WhatsApp. Their obsession with sending such messages was causing “..[s]ome serious pain for Internet giants.” Not only WhatsApp but even Google researchers in Silicon Valley had noted how “[I]nternet newbies are overloading their Android phones with Good Morning messages.”

Nobody then had any premonition that India would shortly come under scanner for the spread of online disinformation and fake news resulting in a string of murders and growth of anti-minority sentiments. A report published by BBC’s Beyond Fake News Series had tried to corroborate this.

( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/patriotism-made-easy-times-whatsapp-elections)


@NarendraModi, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the brand: Joyojeet Pal

Guest post by Joyojeet Pal

Political Social Media had a minor event this week. The world’s two most followed elected leaders on social media, shared the media centerstage. Barack Obama, with 45 million fans on Facebook and 54 million followers on Twitter, and his Indian counterpart Modi, with 27 million on Facebook and another 9.8 million on Twitter, together command the arguably most powerful political brands on social media. In a rare moment of realpolitik bromance, Narendra Modi sent Barack Obama a smiley for quoting Shah Rukh Khan in the Lok Sabha. A day later, Narendra Modi became the first Indian politician to use Twitter’s new video feature in a carefully cut 30-second monologue.

Modi campaign’s exceptional presence on social media is not news. He is India’s most “liked” person on Facebook. While he still trails actors Amitabh Bachchan the Khan troika and the Dalai Lama from among India’s resident Tweeters, his average of adding 20,000 followers daily for much of the last year should put him safely past his competition by the end of the year.

Continue reading @NarendraModi, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the brand: Joyojeet Pal

In Tragic and Tough Times – Thoughts in the Wake of A Rape Charge and a Suicide: Sucheta De and Shivani Nag


In Tragic and Tough Times, Let Us be True to Our Democratic and Gender-Just Principles.

We are confronted by a painful episode involving a rape charge and a suicide, that poses many tough and tangled questions to us – as the JNU community and also as individuals and activists committed to secularism, democracy and gender justice. Let us, for a moment, reiterate what one of the late Khurshid Anwar’s friends has said in his recent post on Kafila: the suicide does not prove him guilty of the charge of rape, and it does not prove his innocence either.

The suicide is a horrible, tragic occurrence – and it is a tragedy we should not compound with irresponsible utterances. A charge of rape does not necessarily turn the accused into a convicted rapist. True. And equally truly, it does not turn the woman making the charge, overnight, into a slut, a murderer, or a communal/political conspirator. Continue reading In Tragic and Tough Times – Thoughts in the Wake of A Rape Charge and a Suicide: Sucheta De and Shivani Nag

An Appeal for restraint to all by the family and friends of Khurshid Anwar

Guest post by The Campaign for Khurshid Anwar

We are friends, family and well-wishers of the late Dr. Khurshid Anwar.  We have come together to keep alive the memory of his signal contribution to peace, secularism and communal harmony in the subcontinent, including his pioneering work in training thousands of volunteers to uphold these ideals over a long career as a grassroots activist.

We are deeply shocked and concerned at the trial by media and social media, which he was irresponsibly subjected to in the last few months, on a matter which had never been subjected to any kind of formal scrutiny by any responsible authority.

We seek to catalyze discussions on these aspects, via blogs, social media as well as public events and in responsible sections of the mainstream press. We strongly affirm the freedom of expression of the press as well as of individuals, but insist that such freedoms place an onus upon all to act with responsibility.

In keeping with this spirit of responsibility, we strongly discourage and dissociate ourselves from any attempts to reveal the identity of, or otherwise target the lady who has leveled serious allegations against Dr Anwar. As his family, personal friends and comrades, we do find it impossible to believe such allegations against a fiercely committed feminist such as himself, but do not presume to judge the matter ourselves.

Anybody who is indulging in any irresponsible statements about the lady in question is only doing a disservice to the memory of Khurshid Anwar.

We request all those commenting on the matter to desist from any conjectures and speculation upon the matter, and let the investigation take its course.

Ali Javed
Meenakshi Sundriyal
Ritwik Agrawal

On behalf of:

The Campaign for Khurshid Anwar



On the Death of Khurshid Anwar: Kalyani Menon Sen and Kavita Krishnan


(Find Hindi translation below the English statement)

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Khurshid Anwar.

As activists committed to ending violence against women, we have been trying to ensure the due process of law and justice in relation to the allegations against Khurshid Anwar. Continue reading On the Death of Khurshid Anwar: Kalyani Menon Sen and Kavita Krishnan

We’re singing Holi songs: Inayat Anaita Sabhikhi

Guest post by INAYAT ANAITA SABHIKHI: CGNet Swara is a voice based portal, where stories reported by citizen journalists are available for playback online on their website or through a regular mobile phone. By dialing the CGNet number, you can either record a message or listen to the previous four messages recorded on the server. This is primarily operating in the Central Gondwana region, a tribal belt in central India known to be economically and socially disadvantaged.


A reporter for CGNet Swara

The idea behind this, as explained by its founder, Shubhranshu Choudhury in this TEDx talk is to democratise the use of media. It is an attempt to combat the neglect and skewed approach of mainstream media towards this entire region and its people. Continue reading We’re singing Holi songs: Inayat Anaita Sabhikhi

How Delhi police assaulted my daughter on 25 December: Usha Saxena

From The Telegraph

USHA SAXENA writes a letter to Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit:

Dear ma’am,

My daughter Shambhavi and I and a colleague of mine Reema Ganguly went to Jantar Mantar today 25th Dec to take part in a peaceful gathering there against the gang-rape.

At around 4pm two girls came running up to us in tears and said that the police had dragged away 2 of their female friends to Parliament Street Police Station and they asked us to help bring them back. The three of us joined 9 other women and we went to the police station. When we reached there we only saw male constables. We demanded to talk to a female senior officer and said that the 3 women must be released immediately. The policemen very rudely and aggressively tried to chase us out. We refused to leave without those 3 women and so one male cop ordered some female cops standing in the courtyard to come in and arrest all of us. Continue reading How Delhi police assaulted my daughter on 25 December: Usha Saxena

How to start a riot out of Facebook: Yousuf Saeed

Guest post by YOUSUF SAEED

I am utterly shocked and pained to read about the violent rally that many Muslims took out at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on 11 August 2012 in protest against the recent communal carnage in Assam and Burma. More than the accidental death of two men and 50 injured in yesterday’s protest, what alarmed me was the public anger targeted on the media for “not reporting about the violence against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar”. Several vans of TV channels and their equipment were smashed or burnt besides a number of police vehicles destroyed. Of course, the authorities are still probing as to who really began the violence in an otherwise peaceful rally (and we are open to the results of such a probe). But my worst fear came true with this assertion of one of the protesters in a newspaper report: “Why is the media not covering Burma and Assam? We learnt about the incidents from videos posted on the Internet.” This seems to be a very disturbing statement on various accounts. Of course, the media can sometimes be biased, and the Muslims do feel victimised by it all the time. But are the random videos and images posted on the Internet any less biased or misleading? Continue reading How to start a riot out of Facebook: Yousuf Saeed