Section 377, no-confidence motion, #MeToo, National Register of Citizens and Ayushman Bharat Yojana saw a spike in interest by the users of search engine Google in India, causing search terms related to these topics to break into the top 10 trending terms in 2018, replacing last year’s trending issues such as GST and JioPhone.
“Ayushman Bharat Yojana how to apply” was the sixth most trending topic in the “How to” list for 2018 in India, while “How to check name in NRC Assam” was at number 10. Google prepares these lists based on search terms that had the highest spike during the given year, when compared with the previous year.
Second on the “How to” list was “How to link Aadhaar with Mobile number”, the requirement that was subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court. The top “How to” term of the year was “How to send stickers on WhatsApp”, in light of the stickers service launched by the online messaging app, which has over 250 million users in India.
Last year, the top “How to” phrase was “How to link aadhaar with PAN card”, followed by “How to book Jio phone”.
Queries on how to apply for the central Ayushman Bharat health scheme were most popular in Uttarakhand during the year, followed by Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
“How to check name in NRC Assam” was most popular in Assam, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Tripura.
In the “What is” section of search trends for 2018, “What is section 377” was on top. In September, the apex court decriminalised consensual gay sex between adults in private. Other top trending topics were “What is me too campaign” at No. 4, and “What is no confidence motion” and “What is SC ST act” at Nos. 9 and 10 respectively.
TRENDS ON TWITTER
As five states voted in Assembly elections, keywords and discussions on Twitter reflected the direction and nature of user engagement. While Twitter conversation used to be mainly nationally-driven in 2014, the platform is seeing a rise of regional conversation points and leaders now, Mahima Kaul, Twitter’s Head of Public Policy in India, said. Also, while update tweets used to be popular once, the most mentioned tweets now are humorous or witty, she said.
Some Twitter trends from the period October 1 to December 11, according to data provided by the social media platform:
* Rural economy keywords such as karzamaafi (debt relief) and sookha pradesh (dry region) written in Devanagari played out more than religion-related keywords.
*Out of the more than 66 lakh tweets related to the Assembly elections during this time, “rural economy” was the most-discussed conversation topic. Other keywords on this topic were “loan waiver” and “farmer suicide,” as well as vyapari (trader), and mazdoor (labourer) in Devanagari.
*The second most discussed topic was religion and caste, with words such as gaurakshak and Hindutva. EVM tampering and corruption was the next most discussed topic with ghotala (scam) and investigation, followed by dynastic politics and corruption.
*The conversation was driven mostly by #chunav in Devanagari, which had more than 70% of hashtags; less than 30% came from #assemblyelections.
*The top inflection point for the conversation was about dynastic politics and regional leaders on December 7. Other inflection points included the BJP’s promise of 50 lakh jobs in Rajasthan on November 28