Technology

General Elections 2019: Memes flood social media after the results

The 2019 General Elections witnessed the storm of memes that flooded the social network raising laughter and sometimes grave concerns

The world’s largest democracy has had its say. And it has been saying plenty through the General Elections, 2019, on the social network. As the BJP juggernaut bore down, netizens were quick to post and share politically flavoured memes. Game of Thrones and Avenger’s End Game memes proliferated. People were quick to photoshop Modi’s face on Thanos. Twitter user @sagarcasm drew similarities between GoT characters and Indian politicians. There were comparisons between Sansa Stark and Mamata Banerjee with the tweeter, Sagar, calling them leaders who got to rule the state but not the nation. Sagar’s post got over 2,000 retweets and about 4,000 likes.

The 2019 election stuck with the last election’s winning tactic of using the social media. Platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all played their part in reaching out to the people. According to Facebook’s Ad Library Report, over ₹10 crore was spent on political ads between February and March 30, with a major chunk coming from BJP and its supporters

Most of the political parties joined the meme wars ,mocking their opposition during the campaigning period. Not to be left behind, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s Press Information Bureau rehashed dialogues from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Krrish and Border and through them urged people to vote.

Mapping trends
  • As per Trends24, Twitter’s top trends on May 23 were #ElectionResultsFor2019, #Verdict2019, #ModiAaRahaHai and #ModiSweep

Visakhapatnam-based businessman, Sunil Nevatia claims this time around there was even more political discussions between family and friends because of higher engagement on social media. There days when he receives more than 1000 memes a day! Sunil is a member in over 100 WhatsApp groups. “There is no way I can see all the memes. I go through a a fraction of them and forward the selected few,” he adds.

For some like Shivani Mirajkar, memes have been a source of information besides entertainment. “I always considered politics boring until the memes came in. I find them hilarious. I came to know that Sunny Deol is contesting for elections from these memes and also was enlightened about Hema Malini’s canvassing tactics! I keep myself updated on political news just to enjoy the context of these memes,” she laughs. Shivani who is a 24-year-old classical singer says every time she comes across a funny meme, she shares it with friends. Ask her how many memes she shares in a day, “That would be an embarrassingly large number to state,” she laughs.

But the memes are not always in good humour as they often distort facts. Seventy-six-year-old Ishwar Prasad Khandelwal feels strongly about this. He complains, “I think images and video circulated on Whatsapp get disproportionate attention. As a result, people don’t do their research any more and get swayed with political propaganda.”

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Printable version | May 23, 2020 4:32:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/general-elections-2019-memes-flood-social-media-after-the-results/article27235593.ece

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