In India, Facebook’s WhatsApp Plays Central Role in Elections

Excerpt from this article:

Milling on a vast field with his college buddies, Mr. Bhat, 18, cheered for Mr. Modi and his Hindu-oriented Bharatiya Janata Party, which was trying to wrest control of Karnataka state from the more secular Indian National Congress in legislative elections.

Yet the most intense political campaigning was not taking place on the streets. Instead, the action was happening on WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook that has about 250 million users in India.

Mr. Bhat, a B.J.P. youth leader, said he used WhatsApp to stay in constant touch with the 60 voters he was assigned to track for the party. He sent them critiques of the state government, dark warnings about Hindus being murdered by Muslims — including a debunked B.J.P. claim that 23 activists were killed by jihadists — and jokes ridiculing Congress leaders. His own WhatsApp stream was full of election updates, pro-B.J.P. videos, and false news stories, including a fake poll purportedly commissioned by the BBC that predicted a sweeping B.J.P. win.

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Ted Cruz-ing for Porn? Senator’s Twitter Account ‘Likes’ Explicit Video

Ted Cruz

Excerpt from this article:

President Trump isn’t the only member of the GOP who causes a stir with his late-night Twitter antics. Senator Ted Cruz sent social media into a frenzy on Monday night when his official Twitter account liked a porn clip.

4 innovative ways India is using WhatsApp

A boy uses a mobile phone as he sits inside his father's snacks shop along a road in Kolkata, India, February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX27ZEW

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In recent years, the authorities have caught on to WhatsApp’s potential for engaging more directly with the Indian public, especially in some of the country’s megacities.

Increasing women’s safety

A WhatsApp safety group enables New Delhi women who travel by public transport to send photos and details of the vehicle to the police before boarding it. Set up as both a deterrent for sex crimes and to boost women’s confidence, the group can also be used to alert the police in emergencies.

Reporting offences…

Holding politicians to account…

Helping flood victims

HAPPY ED BALLS DAY

ed-balls-580

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In the annals of pseudo-holidays… there is none, to my mind, more pleasing than April 28th, on which Britons the Internet wide observe the anniversary of the time a distracted politician accidentally tweeted his own name… The politician in question is the Labour M.P. and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Edward Michael (Ed) Balls. At 4:20 p.m. on April 28, 2011, Balls was in a grocery store in Yorkshire, picking up the ingredients for his signature fourteen-hour pulled pork. Somewhere between the white buns and the watermelon, he got a call from an aide. The aide urged him to search Twitter for an article that mentioned him. Balls hit the wrong key on his Blackberry and tweeted the now immortal phrase: “Ed Balls.”

Covfefe is a word now. Deal with it

Excerpt from this article (and see also this one for background):

Trump’s tweet went thus: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe”, and that was it. Keyboard detectives have pointed out that the strokes needed to type “erage” are vaguely similar to “fefe”, and that would fit semantically with the rest of the brainfart. So, boringly enough, he meant to type “coverage”. But it was too late. Covfefe was born.

And with it, the new discipline of Covfefe studies.

This Scottish man’s Twitter feed is blowing up for all the wrong reasons

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Remember John Lewis, the American computer science educator who’s forever being mistaken for both a congressman and a British department store?

Well, he’s not the only one.

With increasing mentions of Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon cropping up in the news, one man from Scotland has found himself on the receiving end up a huge surge of misdirected tweets.

Introducing @SteveBannon — Scottish man living in the southwest of England, father of three, and very much not a senior advisor to Donald Trump