• UP Elections 2022

    What #hashtag wars tell us about the organization of Uttar Pradesh IT cells, and how parties mark their allies and enemies

    Pitched battles on Twitter are increasingly common among the key players in the Uttar Pradesh elections, since the praises, innuendo, and insults that take shape and virality on Twitter often find new lives on other social media such as WhatsApp, but also on mainstream television and web-based news. We studied nine parties contesting the state legislative elections in Uttar Pradesh – BJP, SP, INC, RLD, BSP, AIMIM, Nishad Party, AAP, and Apna Dal, and collected the hashtags used by over 11,000 politicians at various levels, from sitting MPs and MLAs to party workers. We collected all the hashtags used by the said politicians during Sep 2021 to Jan 2022. We…

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  • COVID 19,  Research,  Social Computing

    Is a Democrat more likely to wear a mask than a Republican?? Unmasking the partisan combat, an analysis through Instagram

    We analyze 3.91 million Instagram posts collected throughout 2020 from the 4 top Democratic and 4 top Republican states. Posts from Democratic states were found to have significantly higher percentages of detected masks, and significantly lower percentages of group photos, showing higher adoption of mask-wearing and social distancing measures than Republican states. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed life in the world including, United States, with the country recording over 32.3 million cases and 574,000 deaths as of April, 2020. With the ongoing widespread vaccine rollout, the adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions like mask-wearing mandates and stay-at-home laws have proved to be critical for stopping possible transmission routes. In the lead-up to…

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