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

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Professionalising Election Campaigns

The 2014 and 2019 general elections in India were referred to as “WhatsApp elections,” which had IT cells, bots, and political consultants strategically using data mining tools to build resonant narratives to tell voters what they wanted to hear. By the 2014 national election, the industry was reported to be worth $40–$47 million. Between 2014 and 2018, industry specialists approximated that the number of firms in this market had at least doubled. These unprecedented tools of technological campaigning come with new forms of identifying, targeting, and defining issues of political importance. This article suggests that such developments are turning electoral politics into a thriving business being data-driven, technologically oriented, and having far-reaching implications for democratic processes.

Data Privacy and Competition Law at the Crossroads

The recent case of WhatsApp changing its data privacy laws is analysed as an example of issues emerging with competition law. Much has been written about the absence of data privacy laws in India that is likely to leave consumers vulnerable to sudden policy changes by service providers like WhatsApp. In this context, it is argued that informed consent from consumers is unlikely to be present and rather than depending on data privacy laws, it should be competition law that can ensure minimum harm to consumers and prevent adverse effects on market competition.

Posthumanist Confinement

The idea of tech companies as an important power in the creation of what Gilles Deleuze called “societies of control” is explored, building on which contemporary posthumanism is looked at as human existence represented and replicated as non-human entities. The practice of “digital eugenics” by tech...

Privacy and Manipulation: How Social Media Has Affected Political Discourse

As our interactions with social media and messaging apps become more and more pervasive, does our data remain private or can it be used by algorithms to tailor and manipulate our online experience?

Protection vs Privacy: The Debate on Surveillance and Digital Rights in India

Governments across the world have exploited the gap between the pace of technological development and the formulation of laws to infringe on the rights of citizens.

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.

The Next Internet Bust?

Facebook's recent colossal acquisition of WhatsApp is yet another sign that we are now in the middle of a new internet bubble. This bubble is different from that of the late 1990s in that it is being driven by excess liquidity in the system and the search for the "next big thing" like Google and Facebook.
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