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Tweet After Me: ‘Demonetisation Attained Its Objective…’

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Tweet After Me: ‘Demonetisation Attained Its Objective…’

From ministers to party supporters, copycat tweets applauding demonetisation crop up on Twitter a day after RBI’s revealing annual report.

Rs 12 Lakh Cr Via Demonetisation: Did The Modi Government Get It Horribly Wrong?

A policeman asks people to form a queue as they wait to withdraw cash and deposit their old high denomination banknotes in Ahmedabad, India, December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Amit Dave – RTSUD7L

 

 

Swathes of identical tweets hailing the success of demonetisation cropped up on Twitter on Thursday as the government went on a public relations overdrive to prove the benefits of demonetisation a day after the Reserve Bank of India released a report which led many to debate whether the move was worth the disruption to the economy.

 

Several senior ministers were also responsible for hammering home the message on social media that demonetisation achieved its stated objectives, despite rumblings from the opposition and a tiny section of the media.

 

In its annual report for 2016-17 released on Wednesday, the RBI said about Rs 15.28 lakh crore of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore of notes taken out of circulation, had found its way back to the system via deposits by the public. This means only 16,000 crore was not deposited back to the banks and 99% of the demonetised notes made a return.

 

 

Also Read: Black Money-17, Corruption -16, Digitalisation-0: When Modi Spoke On November 8, 2016

 

Sample the below identical tweets from Railway Minister Suresh Prabu, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister of state for planning Rao Inderjit Singh and Loksabha MP Om Birla.

 

 

 

 

 

While that seems harmless, the same message was copy pasted by followers of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the RSS. The image below are not retweets but the same message copied and tweeted multiple times.

 

 

 

At one point it became difficult to tell apart tweets and sentences coined by the Narendra Modi app.

 

 

#DemonetisationSuccess Unprecedented increase in Tax Compliance pic.twitter.com/OVZ4ulubKt

 

The above tweet was also shared by BJP’s social  media cells in various states.

 

 

In fact the blitzkrieg of self-congratulatory tweets prompted the hashtag #demonetisationsuccess to start trending.

 

 

 

A tweet by Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal  was tweeted numerous times by different handles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From trumpeting its achievements to targeting the opposition, the BJP have been masters of social media. The party uses data analytics to understand how it can get better at reaching its support base.  According to news reports it has hired external PR agencies to manage its communication online. Infographics, quizzes, images and Periscope Lives are all part of its social media arsenal.

 

Followers of the BJP are the most vocal on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. It also uses the more direct and private medium of WhatsApp to spread its message. The party has also been accused of creating bots and troll accounts to counter negative social media narratives.

 

The amorphous nature of social media engagement makes these types of online behaviour acceptable but raises the question whether the average Indian is aware of these meticulously planned PR tactics and manufactured public opinion.

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