Social Media and Civil Society Actions in India

Authored by: Rajesh Kumar

The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  December  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138860766
eBook ISBN: 9781315716299
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506560


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In India, having a conversation on social media is the new mantra for success—be it business or governance, political parties or politicians. Social media is also ‘setting the agenda’ for traditional media, such as television and newspapers (Rodrigues and Ranganathan 2015). The key ingredient of such a framework is to not only ensure information dissemination but to also facilitate its sharing and encourage participation that generates conversation and comments. While discussing ‘social media and civil society action in India’, this chapter will be concentrating on expressive social media which are generally referred to as Social Networking Sites (SNSs) and microblogging services (e.g. Twitter). SNSs have taken off globally since 2006 and have empowered hundreds of millions of users to share content among online communities and create an Internet society. It has been found that about two-thirds of all active Internet users have spent time managing a social networking profile, and more than 80 per cent have visited friends’ social network pages, with microblogging services used by 51.9 per cent of active internet users globally (Universal McCann 2013). While the growth in SNSs new users in North America has started to level off, it is growing substantially in other regions. Many top SNSs, such as Facebook and MySpace, made efforts to become more culturally relevant in markets outside the U.S. and thus demonstrated rapid growth in their global user bases (ComScore 2013). They are generating high interest in Asia where the SNS phenomenon is flourishing. India has 243.2 million Internet users (19 per cent of the total population) and 106 million (8 per cent of total population) active social media users (Naidu 2014). Of active Internet users, 44.6 per cent in India are using microblogging services (Universal McCann 2013).

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