AAP prepares for social media war as LS polls nears

When it comes to using modern communication tools for political campaign, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is a front-runner and now targeting WhatsApp users in the national capital to spread its message. PTI file photo

When it comes to using modern communication tools for political campaign, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is a front-runner and now targeting WhatsApp users in the national capital to spread its message.

With the Lok Sabha elections approaching fast, the AAP is fine-tuning its campaign tools, especially social media and messaging tools like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.

The party is now looking at active Whatsapp users, who are in several chat groups, in local areas to spread the party's messages and counter fake news as well as anti-party messages.

The AAP wants to be at the grassroots to counter propaganda against the party. But it is not going to create new WhatsApp groups but use the presence of its supporters in the existing groups.

“We are not going to create new groups. There are people in local areas who are active in more than one groups. They could engage with others on issues and spread AAP message. They can counter fake news too,” AAP's social media strategist Ankit Lal told DH.

The idea is to have at least five active supporters on social media at ward level in the capital to engage with voters. The party has also zeroed in on leaders to coordinate the efforts at Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies as well as district level.

Another leader said all potential voters may not be active on Twitter and Facebook and hence the role of Whatsapp is important.

The AAP has already trained around 15,000 volunteers in the national capital to extend its social media campaign ahead of Lok Sabha elections. It has also trained around 10-12,000 volunteers across the country in the past 18 months in using social media for political campaign.

In the ongoing Assembly polls, the AAP was using YouTube channels to reach out to voters in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where it is fighting.

“All candidates and local leaders were given training on how to use social media as a force multiplier. They were trained on using Twitter, Facebook and other tools for election campaigning,” a senior AAP leader said. 

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AAP prepares for social media war as LS polls nears

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