The general election in India is might still be twenty days away. But the political parties in the country are leaving no stone unturned to woo and engage voters on social media platform Facebook.
Since last month about 30,457 political advertisements were posted by different political advertisers worth Rs 6.54 crore on the social networking site.
The ruling party BJP and pro-PM Narendra Modi pages were dominant ads providers on Facebook, according to social media firm’s Ad Library report.
A page titled ‘My First Vote For Modi’ posted the largest number of ads (2,765), whereas pages titled Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat and Namo Supporters pushed 2,429 and 2,153 posts respectively.
The ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ page spent most on advertisements. It accounted for about 16 percent of total expenditure so far on Facebook’s political advertisement’s, according to the data.
Last week, between March 10 and March 16, it spent over Rs 20 lakh.
The Facebook report provides a weekly summary of the library, which is part of its transparency effort. It also provides information on the top search terms.
The top search term was the BJP, followed by the Congress, outlined the report. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was third and Congress President Rahul Gandhi was fourth search terms.
In February, the social networking firm toughened its rules for political advertisement to bring more transparency allowing users to see political advertisements with ‘published by and paid by’ disclaimers.
Last month, BJP and its affiliates accounted for 57 per cent of the total ad spend. They spent Rs 2.37 crore out of Rs 4.13 crore total amount spent on the networking site. The page Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat alone spent over Rs 1 crore running 1168 ads on Facebook.
Currently, Facebook has about 294 million users in India.
Since 2016-17, the social networking site along with WhatsApp, Bytdance-owned TikTok, and ShareChat has emerged as go-to platforms for political parties to run their views and propaganda to attract as well as manipulate voter base.