KOCHI: In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, social media was one of the major platforms that the BJP used for its nation-wide election campaigning. The hype that the BJP created for its candidates by effectively using various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and the cyber warriors who tackled all the posts against its leaders worked big time in the BJP’s favour.
Taking a cue from the BJP, almost all the major political parties strengthened their presence and used social media as a major platform in 2019. In Kerala, the candidates followed the trend. Content was created separately for various platforms, including WhatsApp, by the parties. Candidates even knowingly/purposefully uttered words intended to get trolled.
“The best example is Suresh Gopi. His remarks- ‘Enikkeee Thrissur Venam’ (I want Thrissur) is perhaps, one of the most popular dialogues of this election season in Kerala. The actor, who has proven it on screen, knew the pulse of the audience. He knew that those dialogues would get trolled. There is no such thing as negative publicity; everything is publicity and he knew that very well. The dialogue was reiterated on various social media platforms, including TikTok,” social media analyst Adarsh V K told Express.
According to social media analysts, social media wonder was Remya Haridas, who won the Alathur constituency for the UDF. “If the number of social media users is higher than the victory margin of a candidate, we can say that social media is the reason for her popularity. Alathur was not a constituency with the most number of active social media users. However, the remarks made by Vijaya Raghavan and some posts by so-called leftists about Remya singing folk songs made her popular on social media. She became popular even in neighbouring constituencies.