This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Social media is expected to prove its influence in the next general elections as a recent study declares that the fate of 160 Lok Sabha seats would be decided over the internet.
“There are 160 high impact constituencies out of the total of 543 constituencies, which are likely be influenced by social media during the next general elections,” the study by IRIS Knowledge Foundation and Internet and Mobile Association of India has established.
Adopting a straightforward methodology, the research assessed the number of Facebook users in all Lok Sabha constituencies and then measured the margin of victory in these seats. The study shows that Maharashtra has up to 21 high impact constituencies followed by Gujarat which has 17 of them. High impact constituencies are those where the number of Facebook users surpasses the margin of victory of the winner in the last Lok Sabha election, or where Facebook users account for up to 10 per cent of total voters in a constituency.
Research has proven that social media can be even more influential than television ads. Studies indicate that nearly 100 million Indians use the Internet each day.
“Unlike Obama, who used social media directly for votes, Indian politicians have tended to use it more to mould public discourse,” says Sunil Abraham, the CEO of The Centre for Internet and Society.