Is Congress losing the social media game?

Avatar Written by January 5, 2018 16:54

Is the Indian National Congress (INC), which is smarting under the series of poll reverses, losing the social media game? Does the social media campaign of the Congress party, which sought to strengthen its social networking presence to beat its political opponent BJP at its game, seem to be losing steam? These questions are doing the rounds at a time when Congress is planning massive social media blitzkrieg in view of elections in eight states this year, which include party-ruled Karnataka.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who in the past attributed what he called his rising popularity to tweets by his dog Pidi, is said to have awakened the sleeping social media cell of the party for massive public outreach through social networking sites. According to sources, some senior journalists have made presentations about how to sharpen the social media strategy. A prolonged session has been held on devising social media strategy. But as of now, the Congress social media game looks to have come a cropper. It leaves a lot to be desired.

Congress social media makeover bet over lakhs of WhatsApp groups across the country, but what it lacks is credibility and trust, the two components which are a must as far as garnering public support is concerned. Congress mission to have robust social media presence is not cutting much ice with the public. The reason being that it is apparently on a mission to  spread innuendoes, lies, propaganda, misrepresentations, and other such canards. As a result of this, it has reduced itself to a joke.

What sort of presentations are being given to the Congress by veterans of media is not understandable. Some of those sharing their advice in Congress’s sessions have been found to be playing the role of trolls on Twitter. Will the Congress depend on “Pidi-driven” Twitter handle for its social media operations? The question is whether the online trolling is the only social media weapon that Congress wants to use to take on the BJP.

Congress performance on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter has been one of trolling and spreading fake news. The former MP from Mandya, Divya Spandana, who is the current Head of Social Media and Digital Communications of the Indian National Congress, has tweeted in the past in a way that substantiates the charge of the Congress social media campaign lacking credibility. She spread lies and was later corrected by the Twitterati.

Once Divya Spandana posted a 1-minute video of BJP President and Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Amit Shah addressing a gathering in Karnataka. In her tweet, she claimed that Amit Shah committed a gaffe by attacking BJP itself.

She perhaps deliberately ignored the content of the video. All that the video showed was that Amit Shah did have a slip of tongue, and he apologised and corrected himself, but it was never an embarrassing self-goal as Ramya  was spreading to be.

Congress’ social media head’s attempt at politicising the Gorakhpur tragedy also backfired when a Twitter poll she undertook to attack Yogi Adityanath went the ‘wrong way’, with 61% of respondents supporting Yogi.

Does it not serve as a clinching proof of how much credibility the Congress has as far as its social media campaign is concerned? What will be the party’s social media image at large  when the head of the social media department of the Congress has been involved in spreading canards and lies like this. Is this how Congress under Rahul Gandhi is planning to beat BJP on social media platforms in 2019?