Karnataka government to make its presence felt in online world

Outreach: The social media hub will be launched by the Information Department on Friday. — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Outreach: The social media hub will be launched by the Information Department on Friday. — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.  

The sluggish government set-up in the State is all set to enter the fast-paced online world. In an attempt to shape opinions in the growing and influential virtual space, the Department of Information and Public Relations is planning to launch a comprehensive social media hub.

The hub will see the government’s opinions dispersed over Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. It will be launched by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday.

Poll mode

Coming as it does about 17 months away from the Assembly elections, the plan is being read as an effort to disseminate information on the policies and achievements of the government through plain text, graphics and info-graphics, photo albums, videos, jingles, and animated and motion graphics.

While the BJP used social media platforms extensively during recent elections, the online presence of the Congress had been relatively low.

The hub is expected to not only make public policy inclusive but will also “rebuild confidence between the government and people”. This “building of trust” will perhaps be most apparent when information on the government’s controversial proposals, such as holding Tipu Jayanti celebrations, or views against Centre’s decisions come under a barrage of hate tweets, according to sources. The hub will be governed by a primer on the multi-pronged approach of social media messaging. In the primer, Mr. Siddaramaiah underscores the “importance of the social media” to reach out to the millions in the virtual world.

Behind the scenes

The hub is run by an outsourced agency which has handled social media outreach of other State government departments, universities and even the Union government. At any given point of time, four people will manage the online platform.

N.R. Vishnukumar, Director of Information, says that just two per cent of all comments against the government are negative and 12 per cent are positive. The rest are neutral. “The hub will not engage in political comments. Instead, we will only present the official government stand to those commenting on our posts,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 3:19:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Karnataka-government-to-make-its-presence-felt-in-online-world/article16644510.ece

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