Source: 
The New Indian Express
http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/Poll-Watchdogs-Engage-Social-Media-Users/2014/03/26/article2131330.ece#.UzJnkvmSx8p
Date: 
26.03.2014
City: 
Bangalore

With social media’s role in framing public opinion being undisputed, not only politicians but NGOs and election watchdogs too are using it to maximise their reach.

Following the tide, the Association for Democratic Reforms, an organisation working to strengthen democracy, has decided to enter the online fray. Its founder Trilochan Sastry will be available for an online question and answer session on the upcoming elections on Wednesday.

The association, or ADR as it is popularly known, also runs the ‘Know Your Neta’ campaign which lists candidates and their financial assets and details of cases pending among other information. ADR also ranks politicians based on the work done in their constituency.

In a statement, ADR said Sastry will answer questions on the role of money in politics and the criminalisation of politics. Those interested in joining the discussion can find Sastry at https://www.facebook.com/adr.new/

The association is also running a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #MpReportCard and #MeraVoteMeraDesh.

Jigsaw Academy, an online school of analytics, says in the political sphere, the Aam Aadmi Party rules the social media roost with close to five lakh followers on the party’s official Twitter account. BJP comes a close second with four lakh followers while the Congress has managed to attract only one lakh followers.

The Academy has analysed Twitter activity over the past 30 days.

“The BJP has a more positive sentiment score associated with Twitter conversations but Arvind Kejriwal leads tweeting by about 33 per cent compared to Narendra Modi despite Modi having 50 per cent more followers than him,” a report from the academy said.

The report criticises the lack of a co-ordinated social media response team from the Congress and termed the effort ‘hapless.’ While both Modi and Kejriwal are active on Twitter, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has chosen to stay away from the site for now.

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