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believes that social media gives candidates a good indication of the urban mood, though he is not very sure about the electoral impact. “Though internet penetration is increasing in urban areas, there are many people who are not online in urban areas as well. The social media mood may be just the tip of the iceberg.
“The internet has enlarged the scope and participation in public debate. This has intensified with blogs, social media and crowd-sourcing platforms.
“Some of the politicians who have embraced it have done so with a lot more openness and effectiveness, as they need a direct sense of the public pulse. The same cannot be said of government departments and civil servants, many of who still seem to be wary of the internet.”
Tinu contends that even political parties have realised that the youth are a crucial link in the nation building process.
“Tech savvy candidates are trying to reach these urban voters through social media and online advertisements.”
On the manner in which the web has changed campaigning styles, Shaili says, “It has created many changes this time. Crowdsourcing manifestos, seeking feedback via social media and doing Google hangouts among people are signs of the way forward.”
Prasanth K.N. is a PU student in the city and is an avid user of Facebook and Twitter. He says, “Politics was a distant notion for me a couple of years ago.
Now, thanks to campaigns being conducted online and candidates pulling all strings to connect with voters online, I have began to read and follow politics. I think it will have a fair impact and will change the way governance is practiced.”
It is too early to say whether the social media will determine the winner of the ongoing elections. However, it cannot be disputed that social media has changed the rules of the game.