Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is very active on social media. It is a known fact that the party has indulged in direct confrontation with the centre on multiple occasions including targeted attacks at Prime Minister Modi. I was curious to study this behaviour and answer questions like what proportion of their online campaigns are: targeted towards the centre, to promote a policy, to highlight their achievements etc. This can be done by analysing hashtags, retweets and content of tweets.
But unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t allow you to go past the latest ~3200 tweets. For AAP, all I was able to extract was data for the last month. Not good enough for analysis. So I dropped the idea.
Then, just for fun, I extracted tweets of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal – from 4th February 2015 to 11th February 2016. I was curious to know whom does Mr.Kejriwal retweet the most.
This is what I found:
1. There are 32 accounts, tweets from which were retweeted by Mr. Kejriwal more than ten times in the given duration.
2. 12 of those accounts belong to AAP or its officials like Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Nagendar Sharma and Ashutosh. Here, I have also included the well-known musician and active AAP supporter – Vishal Dadlani.
3. 19 accounts belong to media bodies or journalists. I am calling them Mr. Kejriwal’s favourite journalists. But well, that may not be the best interpretation. However, given the frequency of retweets, we can at least say that their tweets are in inclination with AAP.
a) Janta Ka Reporter (@JantaKaReporter) tops this list. I wasn’t aware of this media body before. It was started in 2015 by senior journalist Rifat Jawaid. According to some online sources, Prerna Prasad – wife of Ankit Lal, head of AAP’s IT Cell – was also a part of the founding team. Given that this body is Kejriwal’s favourite, worth investigating the content of their reporting. When a particular politician is, if I may say, too happy with a media body, it makes me suspicious.
PS: Their Twitter description says – “Media revolution in India has begun”. Rings a bell? (Look at Mr. Kejriwal’s Twitter bio)
b) Next is Ashutosh (@ashu3page) from ANI News, a Delhi-based journalist. (Just to be clear, he is not the journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh, now the spokesperson of the party.) Kejriwal has retweeted him 73 times which is the highest for an individual’s account. Glancing at the content, I found that the retweets are newsy stuff related to AAP – the ones that show the Delhi government in good light. It would be interesting to see if Ashutosh reports the downsides of the government or not.
c) Rupashree Nanda (@rupashreenanda) from CNN-IBN, Vikrant Yadav (@ReporterVikrant) from IBN7, Anurag Dhanda (@anuragdhanda) from Zee News are next in the list. ABP News and ANI News are among the top three media houses.
d) The two well-known women journalists of India – Barkha Dutt (@bdutt) from NDTV and Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) from Times of India – come next. Ms. Barkha’s tweets which Mr. Kejriwal retweeted were about Odd-Even, her interview with Kejriwal, Vyapam Scam and Dadri incident. As for Ms. Sagarika, retweets are mostly her opinions in which she is critical of the Modi government.
e) Official accounts of NDTV and Times Of India referred in point (d) are also part the list. More accounts related to these media houses: Sharad Sharma (NDTV), Poonam Pandey (Navbharat Times) and the TV channel Times Now. (Note that Times of India, Navbharat Times and Times Now are part of India’s largest media conglomerate – The Times Group).
Here is the complete list:
|Twitter Handle||Number of Retweets||Association|
|ITNlive||13||IndiaTrendingNow – News Analysis|
If Twitter data of AAP and other political parties, spread over a year at least, is available, that would be something more meaningful to look at. It would also be interesting to study media bias from social network data. Let’s see if there is a way to get hold of it.
If you have some other interpretation of this data, please do share in comments. Cheers!