Modi's presence in social media soars 126% over six months: Report
Shramana Ganguly|, ET Bureau|Sep 5, 2013, 08.10 PM IST

Modi's presence in social media soars 126% over six months: Report
The study was undertaken across Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Tumblr.
AHMEDABAD: Even as tainted IPS officer DG Vanzara has trained his guns at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for the government's alleged role in masterminding encounters, the latter's presence in social media jumped 126% over 6 months, with netizens primarily discussing him over "law, order and internal affairs", an online study has revealed.

Blogworks' 4th edition of India's Most Mentioned Political Leaders index analyzing the Top 20 Most Mentioned Political Leaders online for July 2013 has found that "development and economy" which was the plank on which Modi had entered conversations, dropped over a period of time, while conversations on 'law, order & internal affairs' increased in July 2013. Blogworks Most Mentioned Political Leaders is a monthly barometer of public mood and conversations about the top political leaders on social media in India. The study was undertaken across Twitter, Facebook, Youtube , Tumblr etc.

For Modi, the positive mentions under "caste and religion" have been increasing while negative mentions have seen a decline, since January 2013. Since his speech at Vibrant Gujarat, people perceived him as a leader, moving away from "caste and religion"-based agendas in January. Modi's name was cleared by Special Investigation Team (SIT) from Gujarat riots which generated positive reactions, the report said. Further, comments of online influencers like Suhel Seth, Anupam Kher, Harsha Bhogle and Chetan Bhagat expressing disappointment over 65 MPs writing to US President Obama to maintain the current policy of denying visa to Modi contributed to these positive reactions resulting in a monthly drop of 1% in negative sentiment since January under 'caste and religion'.

The trend of increasing positive mentions and decreasing negative mentions have also been observed for "development and economy", the report added. Modi heads the BJP's Lok Sabha campaign committee and is in direct confrontation with the ruling UPA that is pitching for Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi as the probable Prime Ministerial candidate. The two often compared for their political repartee and socio-political acceptance, have been jostling for space in the online domain as well.

The study has found that the young Gandhi's online mention has dropped by 2%. "Modi continues to be most mentioned on social media with almost nine times more buzz than Rahul Gandhi," it says. As for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi , "corruption" related mentions continued to dominate conversations in the online platform, the report said.

Since January 2013, mentions of Modi have seen the highest and most consistent increase unlike other politicians where the shift fluctuates topically every month.

"July saw a surge in negative sentiment for Rahul Gandhi - increasing from 27% in June to 82% in July 2013. 'Corruption' was the most mentioned theme for Rahul Gandhi in July 2013 and 89% of these mentions under 'Corruption' were negative," the report said.