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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: For first time voters, social media main source of news, finds survey

Pan India, nearly 46% of first time voters on Twitter surveyed will actively engage with and raise concerns to the government on issues that affect them or their community, versus one-third (36%) of those not on the platform.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 11:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
power of 18,twitter survey,first time voters
Twitter India unveiled its new research findings on pan-India as well as Uttar Pradesh specific youth sentiment on social media (REUTERS)

As part of its youth engagement initiative #PowerOf18 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Twitter India unveiled its new research findings on pan-India as well as Uttar Pradesh specific youth sentiment on social media on Wednesday .

This social media platform also engaged with the students at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L) earlier this month and shared the objectives of carrying out this survey.

Pan India, nearly 46% of first time voters on Twitter surveyed will actively engage with and raise concerns to the government on issues that affect them or their community, versus one-third (36%) of those not on the platform.

In contrast, more than half (55%) of the youth in Uttar Pradesh on Twitter surveyed said they would actively engage with and raise concerns to the government on issues that affect them or their community.

Pan India figure suggest that 7 in 10 (72%) of first time voters on Twitter in India believe that they are contributing to the public debate by posting on the platform.

In contrast, 61% of the youth in Uttar Pradesh on Twitter surveyed believe that they are contributing to the public debate by posting on the platform.

Across the board, the population in India is politically active and the survey finds on an average over 90% first time voters indicating that they would vote in the coming elections.

In comparison, Twitter users (96.6%) surveyed were more likely to vote in the coming elections versus those not on the platform (91.2%).

Some 54.6% surveyed will use Twitter to gather support for a cause or movement, and 54.4% of first time voters will use the platform to express their opinion to be heard.

The rising importance of social media is reinforced as over 80% of first time voters in India surveyed will turn to it to find out what’s happening in India and around the world, according to the study’s findings.

First time voters on Twitter also rank social media platforms as the most important source for understanding what’s happening in India and around the world, compared to all other mediums. For those who are not on Twitter, social media platforms come in as the second most important source, behind newspapers.

The nationwide survey was conducted with 4,274 youth respondents from India between September 24 to October 19, 2018. The survey qualifies first time voters as those aged between 18 - 22 years old , taking into consideration that they would not have participated in the 2014 elections.

The objective of the #PowerOf18 campaign is aimed at encouraging more youth in India to participate in civic engagement, understand the significance of their right to vote and contribute to public debate on Twitter.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 11:09 IST