• UP Elections 2022

    Midpoint Melodrama: UP Political Twitter Halfway through Polling Phases

    We examined the use of Twitter by 10426 politicians from Uttar Pradesh, across all levels of seniority, midway into the phases of polling in the Uttar Pradesh elections of 2022, starting January 1, 2022, and up until March 1, 2022. We summarize here our key findings by examining four key questions. How does Twitter relate to Urbanization and Literacy? To address the first question, we examined the number of urban residents by location, and levels of literacy, and find there is a statistically significant relationship between both the number (and percentage) or urban residents and the likelihood that politicians in that area use Twitter, as well as with the level…

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  • Books,  Excerpts

    Excerpts from “My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future” by Indra K. Nooyi

    As I was reading Blackstone / Steve’s story (my blog), I got stumbled on Indra Nooyi’s story; such books instantly strike a cord with me. Book was so engaging, that I finished the book in Jan itself, i.e. 2 books in a month, not very common these days 😛 Was fascinating to read the book that has reference to Chennai a lot, my hometown too! My last book with so much of Chennai reference was Biography of A R Rahman (my blog), there is something lovely about reading books / personalities that has roots to Chennai! I loved the reference to Thata (grandfather in Tamil language) in the book. Book…

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  • 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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  • Experiences,  IIITD,  Students

    Made in Precog

    Hi there, Welcome to my blog! This one is going to be detailed, so let me give you an overview of what I plan to talk about. I will introduce myself, tell you the story of my life, how Precog fits into the picture, and it’s role in making me who I am today. As an incentive for you to read, I will try to summarize what I learnt along the way, and give you some tips 🙂 Who is Daksh Shah anyway? I am a really enthusiastic kid who is super passionate about computers and finance. I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from IIITD (in 2021). I am…

  • UP Elections 2022

    Uttar Pradesh Elections and Twitter: The Cast of Characters

    The Uttar Pradesh elections are being fought on social media just as much as they are in the physical spaces of the campaign. While messages forwarded on WhatsApp are a significant piece of what drives peoples’ political opinions, the primary means of official branding continues to be Twitter for most of the parties and major leaders within the parties. Over the coming weeks, a collaboration between the University of Michigan and IIIT-Hyderabad will analyse the use of social media by politicians on various aspects of the electoral campaign in Uttar Pradesh.

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  • Books,  Excerpts

    Excerpts from “What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence” by Stephen A. Schwarzman

    During my stay in Bengaluru in Dec 2021, I visited Landmark in Koramangala Forum Mall. As always, went through many books including the one on Tim Cook, stumbled on this hard cover “What It Takes”, was intrigued, read the cover page, got more intrigued, never knew about a company called Blackstone. Flipped through the book a bit, including the pics of Steve with multiple Presidents of the US, and other influential people in the world. Got hooked to the book, bought the book. Possibly completed the book in first 2 weeks of Jan (384 pages); my 1st book of the year. Some ideas / thoughts / experiences mentioned in the…

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  • Social Media

    HASOC 2021 – Battling Hateful Content in Indic Languages

    Dissemination of hateful content on nearly all social media is increasingly becoming an alarming concern. In the research community as well, this is a heavily studied domain. The HASOC shared task is one such track that intends to provide a platform to develop and optimize Hate Speech detection algorithms. It provides a forum and a data challenge for multilingual research on the identification of problematic content. It is one of the workshops at the proceedings of the Forum for Information Retrieval Evaluation (FIRE) 2021.   A group of 8 students from PreCog IIIT Hyderabad participated in all the 6 sub tasks of this challenge. The Task Description This year, the tasks…

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  • Experiences,  Research,  Social Computing

    The long winding road of a research project …

    Every research project has its journey, and this is the story of one of them. My (5th year Dual Degree CSE student) tryst with this research project titled ‘Suspended Accounts’ started way back in July 2019. It’s been over two years since the project’s inception.  It took over two years to complete this project, a sign that it wasn’t the smoothest of rides. I am using this blog as a medium to pen down some takeaways that I took from my first experience leading a research project. Again I will emphasize that these are my takeaways and are not universally applicable.  Prune the Project: We went into the project with…

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  • Research,  Social Computing

    Challenging big social media, falling to partisanship: The Koo Conundrum

    We examined the use of social media by politicians on Koo to understand the spread of political preference and engagement for the social media channel that has sought to challenge Twitter online. We find that the broad trend is not partisan, but almost entirely dominated by a single political party, the BJP. Moreover, we find that there is a clear pattern of repeat use, where politicians are not switching away from other platforms, but rather using Koo in addition to, and more importantly, as a secondary option to their existing accounts on Twitter. Both of these have consequences for the longer-term adoption of Koo, and the content experience of new…

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