Twitter is committed to empowering public conversation, facilitating meaningful political debate, driving civic participation during elections; all in real-time. With digital penetration accelerating in India, more people now have access to credible, authoritative and timely information - crucial tools for exercising their civic rights. By leveraging the power of the Open Internet, we have planned a series of initiatives to encourage people across India to be a part of the #AssemblyElections2021 taking place in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry.
The initiatives include an information search prompt with the Election Commission of India and State Election Commissions to provide reliable information around the elections; a custom emoji to encourage participation; a series of pre-bunks and de-bunks to tackle election-related misinformation; and a youth discussion series titled #DemocracyAdda aimed at voter literacy and civic participation among young Indians for the #AssemblyElections2021. These will be activated across six languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Assamese and Malayalam, in order to cater to audiences across India. Additionally, to put a spotlight on women in Indian politics we are bringing back #HerPoliticalJourney, a video series where women political leaders talk about their personal stories with leading women news journalists.
Election information prompt
We have launched an information search prompt with the Election Commission of India and State Election Commissions. With this initiative, we aim to make it easy for the public to find credible and authoritative information about candidate lists, voting dates, polling booths, and EVM voter registration among other election-related topics. The ‘Election information prompt’ will be active in six languages including Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Assamese, Hindi, and English, supporting more than 20 hashtags. Some of these hashtags include: #विधानसभाचुनाव2021, #বাংলার ভোট 2021, #കേരളാതെരഞ്ഞെടുപ്പ്2021, #অসমনিৰ্বাচন২০২১, #தமிழ்நாடுதேர்தல்2021, #புதுச்சேரிவாக்கெடுப்பு2021.
To stimulate participation in election-related discussions, we have launched a custom emoji for the #AssemblyElections2021. Featuring an inked finger to represent a citizen who has exercised their right to vote. People can now Tweet in English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Assamese and Tamil to activate the emoji, and spark healthy public conversation and political debate in several Indic languages from now until May 10, 2021.
Pre-Bunks and De-Bunks
Amid this heavy influx of conversations, it is important to stay ahead of potentially misleading information about how and where to vote. With this in mind, we are publishing a multilingual series of pre-bunk prompts in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali. Based on content by the national and State Election Commissions and civil society partners such as Youth Ki Awaz, Association of Democratic Reforms, these prompts will -
1) Appear on people’s home timelines and in Search, including information about how to register to vote, and details on EVMs and VVPATs; and
2) Serve the public with relevant voting information about booths, postal ballots, COVID-19 restrictions and accessibility, among other topics.
We are also focussing on de-bunking critical issues as they arise with a curated Twitter Moment. These Moments are created based on high standards of accuracy, impartiality and fairness, and are designed to feature compelling, original, and diverse content.
With the youth of the nation engaging in high quality discussions on our service, we’ve partnered with Youth Ki Awaaz to bring back our multilingual youth discussion series, #DemocracyAdda. Available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali, the series will aim to fuel voter literacy and civic participation among young Indians for #AssemblyElections2021. As part of this series, we will host live video sessions and Tweet chats with young citizens, civil society groups, changemakers and representative candidates to discuss key issues including gender equality, employment, education, and health among others.
Despite women leaders making their presence felt in Indian politics, election coverage continues to be largely male-dominated. Aiming to close this gender gap, we are launching the second season of #HerPoliticalJourney, a video series to put the spotlight on women in Indian politics and their personal stories of challenges and triumph. The series will feature women leaders in conversation with leading women news journalists to discuss the systemic challenges women face when pursuing political careers. The videos will be recorded in English, Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam and Assamese.
By launching these initiatives, and leveraging the power of the Open Internet, we are encouraging people across India to participate in the #AssemblyElections2021 conversation. Through these initiatives we hope to encourage an informed and healthy conversation between candidates, political parties, citizens, media, and society writ large.