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#NathuramGodseZindabad trends on Gandhi Jayanti. Here’s how Twitter hashtags go viral

The hashtag ‘NathuramGodseZindabad (Long Live Nathuram Godse)’ was trending in Hindi, with nearly 1 lakh tweets employing it by Friday evening.

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New Delhi: As Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary dawned Friday, several Twitter users were outraged as a tribute to his assassin, Nathuram Godse, emerged as the top trend on the social media website. However, it is as likely to have been a spontaneous trend, as a carefully planned campaign. 

The hashtag “NathuramGodseZindabad (Long Live Nathuram Godse)” was trending in Hindi, with nearly 1 lakh tweets employing it by Friday evening. 

Many of the tweets with the hashtag simply sought to challenge the attempt to paint Godse as a hero.

A similar trend was witnessed in 2019, when “#GodseAmarRahe (May Godse be immortal)” went viral on Twitter, although on a smaller scale. By 8 pm on 2 October 2019, around 20,000 tweets had invoked the hashtag.

A hashtag generally begins to trend when a large number of people use it in a short window of time. It can either be organic, when social media users take to Twitter to discuss an ongoing sporting event or a piece of breaking news, or coordinated, when a certain hashtag is pushed through carefully orchestrated campaigns that often involve paid tweets. 

According to Lakshmi Balasubramanian, co-founder of social media and influencer marketing agency Greenroom, a coordinated way to make a hashtag trend would be by activating influencers with large enough follower numbers (>50,000). 

This ensures a hashtag can trend for enough time and sustain itself organically as a trending hashtag, she said. A hashtag that has once gone viral will appear as a prompt to users who seek to tweet about a related issue even months later, she suggested. 

Sagar Vishnoi, a political consultant who has worked across different parties, said if there is a political hashtag trending on Twitter, it is being trended by a party. The IT cell of a party, he added, would send the required hashtag and content to its influencers for trending.

However, Vishnoi said, a trend like the one linked to Nathuram Godse may not be trended by a political party, but could be linked to third-party Right-wing Twitter users. 

Another way to trend a hashtag is by paying influencers to tweet with the hashtag. For this, an external PR agency could be hired. Rates vary — to trend a hashtag for 2 or 3 hours, some agencies will charge Rs 25,000, Vishnoi said. This rate will increase to Rs 1 lakh-5 lakh depending on how many tweets are put out and for how long the hashtag is required to be a trending. Usually, influencers are paid between Rs 5 and Rs 10 a tweet, added Vishnoi.

“It comes as a blessing in disguise to those who start hashtags when even people opposed to the hashtag use it in their tweets… to comment on the hashtag, because all usage of a hashtag will only help make it trend more,” Vishnoi said.

For example, when verified accounts tweet “#NathuramGodseZindabad”, even in criticism, it will further propagate the hashtag.


Also Read: Don’t hang Godse, said Gandhi’s sons. This is how Nehru, Patel and Rajaji replied


Congress, BJP deny role in trend

The two biggest national parties, the BJP and the Congress, Friday sought to distance themselves from the Godse hashtag.

BJP leader Khemchand Sharma, a member of the party’s national IT cell, said it is “ridiculous to assume the BJP would trend such a hashtag”. “PM Modi is celebrating Gandhi Jayanti as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in grand way to spread Gandhi ji’s thoughts in masses, why would BJP trend anything related to Godse?” he said. 

“Some people based in India and outside India are trying to create controversy by trending hashtags related to Godse,” he added.

Congress social media head Rohan Gupta said the party had launched positive hashtag campaigns to commemorate Gandhi Jayanti, such as “#GandhiJayanti” and “#BapuKaBharatBachao (Save Gandhi’s India)”. 

“None of these hashtags are paid promotions but are done by Congress workers. In addition, hashtags only trend if other users can emotionally and ideologically connect with the hashtag and will spread it,” he added, refusing to comment on Godse-related hashtags.


Also Read: Godse, raised as a girl, saw Gandhi as an ‘effeminate’ Father who didn’t protect Mother India


 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. First Gandhi worshippers had field day. Now it is time for Godse worshippers. This too shall pass. Racism politics in US and mandal kamandal politics in India will also exhaust it’s shelf-life. Just tamasha dekhte jao.

  2. These andh bhakts will take India down to drain. Save India and read about them here http://www.hindutvawatch.org. They have all the information which shows how uncivilized their manifesto is? How they plan to destroy India’s plural fabric and leave it in tatters… Shame on them!

  3. When the Nazia were becoming popular in Germany, I am pretty sure there were hints. When Indians celebrate Godse, don’t say there were no hints of how India will become a toxic nation.

  4. Gandhi did a lot for India’s freedom. However contrary to the Mahatma image, he was not all perfection. This was known even during his time. It was Nehru’s way of saying thank you, his elevation to a Mahatma….. This elevation was wrong and should be revisited. Certainly with the #METOO movement that we have had.

  5. Of course, no body is saying that BJP is physically posting these obnoxious tweets. Over the last six years they have just created a new norm and have legitimized Godse which has emboldened their diehard supporters to come out in support of that vile man with all guns blazing.

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