ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Digital Politics in India’s 2019 General Elections

India’s 2019 general election was the first national election contested within a truly digital consumption society, wherein approximately half the voting population had access to digital pathways, and another one-third had access to social media. This article argues that what happens on digital platforms is no longer an externality or an adjunct to offline politics—it is constitutive of it and inseparable from larger political mobilisation.

How did Social Media Impact India's 2019 General Election?

In line with the global trend, social media has been increasingly used by Indian politicians for routine political communication to directly connect with their supporters. However, unethical practices online by political actors have led to a spike in violence and affected decision-making on the national security front.

How WhatsApp ‘Truths’ Thrive on Middle-Class Anxieties

Security and responsibility are persistent themes in the ‘junk’ information that spreads rapidly on middle class WhatsApp groups with large memberships. The ‘affordances’ of social media enables ‘emotional targetting’ of messages that claim to be about ‘true’ incidents.

Online Gods Ep 4: Rumours and the Agents of Ishq

In this episode, we speak with Irfan Ahmad about rumours and Paromita Vohra about the Agents of Ishq.

Online Gods Ep 3: Digital Diaspora and a Right Wing Twitter 'Influencer'

In this episode, we speak with Victoria Bernal about digital diaspora politics and Rishi Bagree about being a right wing twitter "influencer."

The Feigned Lives of Facebook

Art and philosophy can show the way for a social media that embraces life in its totality, allowing for the projection of our true selves on social media.

Is Hindutva Masculinity on Social Media Producing A Culture of Violence against Women and Muslims?

In the discourse produced by the social media accounts of the Bharatiya Janata Party, its leaders, and the Prime Minister, Hindutva masculinity incorporates ideas of technological progress, military might, and physical strength, all deployed towards the protection and progress of the nation. Through such use of social media, technology becomes a site of and tool for producing violence against those considered as the other of the Hindu male, particularly women and Muslims.

India Needs a Fresh Strategy to Tackle Online Extreme Speech

Abuse and disinformation should be approached as an important culture of mediatised politics in the digital age, which not only reflects extant political differences but significantly shapes what it means to participate in public life for a net fed generation.

Legitimacy, Support and Endorsement: Narendra Modi’s Social Media Engagement with Celebrities

The temporal spread of celebrity engagement with Modi, and perhaps politics in general, underlines the challenges of public brand performance in contemporary India.

Cambridge Analytica and the Political Economy of Persuasion

Where do the financial interests of social media platforms and advertising firms align with the interests of political actors? Where might these interests conflict with constitutional values? What technologies aid such interests and why might these justify being thought of differently from similar conflicts offline? Part of this debate tends to overstate the impact of technological architecture on public opinion. As we approach the 2019 general elections in India, a framework to regulate political advertising and data privacy has become most urgent.

India's Data Protection Framework Will Need to Treat Privacy as a Social and Not Just an Individual Good

The idea that technological innovations may compete with privacy of individuals assumes that there is social and/or economic good in allowing unrestricted access to data. However, it must be remembered that data is potentially a toxic asset, if it is not collected, processed, secured and shared in the appropriate way.

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