‘Tweets, shares show odd-even plan has struck a chord with aam aadmi’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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‘Tweets, shares show odd-even plan has struck a chord with aam aadmi’

Some may be divided over the impact and success of the odd-even restriction but social media has declared it a hit even before the experiment is over.

delhi Updated: Jan 08, 2016 08:57 IST
Mallica Joshi
Civil Defence volunteers hold placards at Seelampur as the Even-numbered cars rolled out on Delhi streets and the odd-numbered ones stayed largely off the roads on the sixth day today of the odd-even vehicular restriction trial, in Delhi , India on Wednesday, January 06, 2016.
Civil Defence volunteers hold placards at Seelampur as the Even-numbered cars rolled out on Delhi streets and the odd-numbered ones stayed largely off the roads on the sixth day today of the odd-even vehicular restriction trial, in Delhi , India on Wednesday, January 06, 2016. (Hindustan Times)

Some may be divided over the impact and success of the odd-even restriction but social media has declared it a hit even before the experiment is over.

According to social media experts in the government and the Aam Aadmi Party, the massive number of tweets and shares on Facebook show that the middle class has embraced the experiment. The party’s official handles on Twitter and Facebook page have seen engagement comparable with what they got during the elections.

Since December 25, when the final blueprint for the implementation was announced, the odd-even scheme has been trending on microblogging site, Twitter, in one form or the other. Facebook saw a surge in the number of people engaging with posts about odd-even on January 1 when Delhi cabinet ministers shared pictures of carpooling and cycling to work.

According to Aam Aadmi Party’s social media team, they have floated four Twitter hashtags since December 25 – all of which have been among the top 10 trends in India.

“We have seen an enormous response from the people – the youth and the middle class especially. For the #Ipledge4pollutionfreeDelhi, where we tried to answer questions and dispel myths, there were around 35,000 tweets. On Monday, we floated #oddevenmovement. This saw a much bigger response with around 65,000 tweets. The trend lasted on Twitter for the whole of Monday and some hours on Tuesday as well,” said Abhinav Buddhiraja, part of AAP’s social media team.

According to Buddhiraja, the team has not had to work very hard to get the sort of social media success that their campaign has got.

“We started these hashtags but they were taken forward by the people. Apart from these hashtags, there were several others that were started by people and organizations and had nothing to do with the party or the government,” he said.

According to the team, the biggest outtake of the campaign on Twitter is more about less congestion on roads than pollution.

“The pictures that did the best were those of empty streets and people complying with the rule and it was the middle class that was leading from the front. It is not easy to get such a response if it is manufactured. The people are with us,” said a party member.

On Facebook, the most liked and shared posts were of the chief minister carpooling with other ministers and Manish Sisodia cycling to work.

“The incident where an old photo of the rush at Rajiv Chowk was used as a new one gave us a push instead of putting us on the back foot. As soon as that photo came out, people who were inside the metro started tweeting real pictures to counter the claims made. We didn’t really have to do anything,” said Buddhiraja.