Update: March 3rd, 2:00 PM
After sending the digital world into a tizzy, Indian PM Narendra Modi will not be leaving after all. His cryptic message on Sunday, has a clarification today. The PM will actually be handing over the controls of his social media handles to a woman, selected through a competition across the country. This is being done on the occassion of Women’s day.
This Women's Day, I will give away my social media accounts to women whose life & work inspire us. This will help them ignite motivation in millions.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 3, 2020
PM Narendra Modi, one of the most-followed global leaders on social media platforms across the board, dropped a surprising message today. The Prime Minister, who is known for his massive social media appeal, announced that he is “thinking of giving up” social media accounts.
“This Sunday, thinking of giving up my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube,” PM Modi tweeted late on Monday evening.
“Will keep you all posted,” PM Modi added.
This Sunday, thinking of giving up my social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube. Will keep you all posted.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 2, 2020
The Prime Minister did not explain immediately as to what led him to consider quitting social media but it certainly led to a barrage of requests from his supporters to revisit his stand. The tweet, which was posted almost an hour back, has already received over 40K comments. When asked for comments by leading media houses, BJP’s head of social media Amit Malviya declined to comment, and asked people to wait for Sunday.
The social space is a peculiar thing. While it comes with numerous benefits, it also has its fair share of shortcomings. The exploitation of these platforms by unscrupulous elements for spreading rumors or hate speeches is often under highlight. In fact, the Prime Minister himself has been accused several times of following accounts that spread hate speech on social media platforms, specially Twitter.
While the reasons for this sudden decision are unknown, the move is sure to have an effect on the digital presence of the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party. The ruling party has been very active on social platforms, running ferocious political campaigns as well as creating a massive public outreach. The party’s social media appeal has been discussed globally and PM Modi’s sudden departure will surely affect the party nationally as well as worldwide. PM Modi is the most followed political personality as well, and his absence is sure to have a detrimental effect on the party.
Modi, known for his ability to always grab the headlines, has over 53.3 million followers on microblogging site Twitter, his Facebook page has over 44 million likes whereas he is followed by 35.2 million on the photo and video-sharing app Instagram.
His tweet celebrating the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in Lok Sabha polls was the most retweeted and liked tweet last year and was acknowledged as “India’s Golden Tweet of 2019”.
Interestingly, there is speculation that PM Modi may launch a new social media channel or even a platform of his own. It will be really absorbing to see what PM Modi has in store for us.