No significant influence of social media on BJP's Lok Sabha poll win: Study -Karishma Mehrotra

-The Indian Express

The BJP’s vote share lead over the Congress has reduced among social media users and grown among non-users since 2014, the study shows.

Social media did not heavily influence the BJP’s recent win as the ruling party’s social media advantage over the Congress declined in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, a study by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) shows.

The BJP’s vote share lead over the Congress has reduced among social media users and grown among non-users since 2014, the study shows. The Congress’ performance was worse among newspaper readers than social media users, suggesting that the momentum behind the 2019 results was not as much in the social media domain as previously thought.

“I think this study will surprise many because this is not a sample of urban voters. This is a national sample,” CSDS director Sanjay Kumar said at the report’s launch on Tuesday. A total of 24,236 voters were interviewed in 211 parliamentary constituencies.

Compared to 2014, the BJP made gains among those who were not on Facebook (from 30 per cent in 2014 to 36 per cent in 2019) and losses among the daily users. Inversely, the Congress gained among heavy Facebook users (from 16 per cent in 2014 to 20 per cent in 2019) and lost among non-users.

The study found that the lowest social media penetration was where the BJP made the most surprising gains —- eastern states —- and the highest social media penetration was where BJP has yet to spread significantly —- southern states.

On the other hand, the NDA’s success did slightly correlate with social media use among three groups —- upper caste voters (65 per cent for heavy users compared to 57 per cent for non-users), Muslims (15 per cent to 9 per cent) and Scheduled Tribes (57 per cent to 44 per cent). Social media usage of Muslims ranks second only to upper-caste Hindus, surpassing that of OBCs.

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The Indian Express, 12 June, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/no-significant-influence-of-social-media-on-bjps-lok-sabha-poll-win-study-5776044/?fbclid=IwAR1j0lgszYyiwCRPSRkP9b2IgGZhmqeyI

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