Friday, Oct 24, 2014

From Digvijaya Singh to Arvind Kejriwal, social media a double edged sword for political leaders

Social media has also proved to be troublesome for the politicians. Social media has also proved to be troublesome for the politicians.
Written by Shivani Vig | New Delhi | Posted: May 1, 2014 5:16 pm | Updated: May 2, 2014 9:25 am

It’s quick, crisp and direct. And, at times it’s fun. This election season, leaders get instant fame in the 140 characters. Social media has become an important tool in the election battleground for the political leaders. It provides a platform for them to reach out to voters and send across their messages.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube may surely have turned into an easy platform to connect to larger masses but the social media on several occasions has also proved to be troublesome for the politicians. Many have learnt it the hard way.

And the recent victim to it is the Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who was in the middle of a political storm after his pictures with journalist Amrita Rai went viral on social media. Singh confirmed the relationship with the journalist on Twitter as he tweeted: “I have no hesitation in accepting my relationship with Amrita Rai. She and her husband have already filed a mutual consent divorce case. Once that is decided we would formalise it. But I do condemn encroachment in our private life.” READ FULL STORY

Singh is not the only political leader to have been embroiled in the social media controversies. Here is the compilation of a few social media backlash suffered by political leaders:

Arvind Kejriwal & the leaked video: The Aam Aadmi Party was left red-faced by a video on YouTube which happened to indicate party convenor and former Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal seeking to influence his portrayal in a TV interview. The video — of a conversation between Kejriwal and an Aaj Tak journalist on February 14 following his resignation as CM — showed the AAP leader telling the interviewer to play up a certain segment of their interaction and speaking about why he wants to avoid a subject. The video drew sharp criticism from the political parties while AAP claimed that the leaked video was an attempt to malign the party’s image.

Shazia Ilmi’s video on ‘secular Muslims': A video surfaced on YouTube showing AAP candidate from Ghaziabad Shazia Ilmi sitting amongst a group of Muslims and saying that “Muslims would have to be communal”. The leaked video showed Ilmi saying that instead of Muslims being secular, they should be more communal. “Muslims don’t vote for their own community. Arvind Kejriwal is one of your own. You all should not be so secular, look after your own home. Other parties have fixed votes. Look after your own interests. This is controversial but necessary,” she was shown as saying in the video. The AAP leader was under fire following the video leak even as her party distanced itself from Ilmi’s comments.

Tweet war between Sunanda Puskhar & Pak journo: Earlier this year, Union Minister Shashi Tharoor had landed in a controversy over a cross-border tweet war involving his wife continued…

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