Aam Aadmi Party online propaganda tricks used in the Assembly Elections 2015

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the 2015 assembly elections with resounding mandate. I looked into some of the reasons that helped to achieve this spectacular win and its implications. There is also another factor which I haven’t touched in that post, i.e, their clever online campaign.

They outsmarted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) easily and created lot of positive perception among the young voters. I will try to sum up what are things they have done or at least I have noticed them doing and what BJP and others should learn from this online campaign.

  1. Twitter: AAP continuously able to make their hashtags trend on top. This is very important because India’s total politics played on twitter these days. Most of the Indian politicians and journalists sits on twitter all day along to gauge the news and mood of the campaign. AAP has created and placed bots and excellent graphics on the twitter stream to shine their voice. If you can imagine the details, this doesn’t cost much money and few systems with proxies setup can automate all this work.
  1. Graphics: I am guessing AAP has good designers continuously made very huge number of propaganda graphics. I don’t even need to go into details of why good graphics are essential for a political campaign. Their excellent graphics are continuously trended all over twitter India. I can safely bet, after looking at many of their works, that the number of graphic designers worked on this task not more than three. Let me give one example to illustrate how smart AAP designers are. Look at the picture they printed all over Delhi at very beginning of their campaign. A happy faced Arvind Kejriwal vs moody face Jagadeesh Mukhi. A very subtle, unnoticeable way of putting AK is the best choice. Its I consider hitting below the belt but hey who stopped BJP in doing that.
  2. disqus comments: All popular news sites use disqus for their comments. disqus comments displayed sorted by votes given to that comment. Unfortunately votes can be easily manipulated. AAP used some javascript code to automatically bump votes up for their comments to bring them on to the top. If you see all popular news sites, top comments will be filled up with AAP propaganda. This is very very cheap and huge impact on ordinary readers of the news sites.
  3. whatsapp/email: Chain emails, whatsapp forwards were also huge. They have created a huge database of email ids and then bombarded propaganda messages to those mails, same with whatsapp and phone numbers.
  4. mobile app: This has minor impact but yet again this shows their intensity of reaching out targeted audience.

In conclusion AAP played well their game in beating BJP or any other in this area. A group of more or less 10 people would have worked for all this very effectively. I think BJP should start embrace some tecno-saavy volunteers to step up their game. Otherwise as India progresses towards more internet penetration, BJP will face lot of difficulties in fighting AAP’s online game.