I have been in India for less than 24 hours and I can see the tentacles of social media spreading across the media and the country. Whether it is press coverage, social activism or articles in print media, its impossible to go through your day without seeing a mention of Facebook or Twitter or an @ or # flashing on the screen.
It was interesting to see TV channels like Headlines Today prominently feature a Twitter ribbon on the screen, as well as prominently displaying the Twitter handle of its anchor. As far as I can remember, Twitter did not play such a prominent role six months ago, when I was last in the country.
Presently, the Anna Hazare led Anti-Corruption movement has taken hold of the country, and social media has played a vital role in drumming up support. The 74 year old social activist has spawned a new age in Indian activism. Anna has 4270 friends onFacebook, and his Twitter handle – Janlokpal – has 47,000+ followers and sends out a minimum of three tweets per minute, and Anna’s YouTube videos have been viewed over 100,000. I was keeping a close tab on the Twitter stream on Headlines Today yesterday and saw the same tweets being repeated over and over again. This seemed a bit odd and made me wonder if a select group of tweets were picked to sensationalize the story. Continue reading