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BJP-friendly ads dominated Facebook since February, shows data

March 22, 2019 11:54 IST

A page called ‘My First Vote For Modi’ accounts for the largest number of ads by number (2,765). Another one called ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ was second (2,429). ‘Namo Supporters’ was third with 2,153 ads, reports Sachin P Mampatta.

IMAGE: Facebook data also revealed that the top search term was BJP and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the third most searched term. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

A total of 30,457 advertisements related to politics or issues of national importance have hit the world's largest social media network ahead of the general election. The expenditure on these advertisements was Rs 6.54 crore, shows the data from Facebook's Ad Library Report. 

 

“This report is a weekly summary of the library and includes data for ads that have been viewed by people in India. Making this report available to the public is part of Facebook's efforts to increase transparency in advertising," according to a note on the social media giant's website. 

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party seems to dominate the space. A page called ‘My First Vote For Modi’ accounts for the largest number of ads by number (2,765). Another one called ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ was second (2,429). ‘Namo Supporters’ was third with 2,153 ads. 

The ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ page was the highest spender on advertisements. It accounted for nearly one out of every six rupees spent so far on Facebook's political advertisement’s, according to the data. It was also the biggest spender for the latest week. ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ spent over Rs 20 lakh between March 10 and March 16, the latest week for which the data is available.  

The Facebook data also provides information on the top search terms. The top search term was the BJP, followed by the Congress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was third and Congress president Rahul Gandhi was fourth. 

The data from Twitter shows that there have been no promoted tweets from the official Congress and BJP account in the past seven days. 

Social media activity can be a major factor in elections, noted a July 2017 piece in the Journal of Political Marketing entitled, ‘Introduction: Social Media, Political Marketing and the 2016 US Election’. 

“We can gauge the scale of social media's role in the 2016 presidential election from the data reported by the Pew Research Center (July 18, 2016). According to their survey, 44 per cent of US adults received information about the 2016 presidential election from social media. That is more than the percentage cited for either local or national print newspapers,” it said. 

It noted that the winning candidate, Donald Trump, had a greater presence on social media than his opponent, Hillary Clinton. 

“Trump had almost 10 million Twitter followers to Clinton's 7 million, and his 9 million Facebook followers were about double her number,” it said. 

Sachin P Mampatta in Mumbai
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