Friday, April 26, 2013

Election and Social Media in Bhutan

On 23 April 2013, when Bhutan voted for National Council election for the second time in the history of the newly democratic country, another history was made on an equally new platform. For the first so much information was generated by Bhutanese on Social Media, that when I return from short toilet breaks I could see over hundred updates on Twitter and Facebook- and yes everything related to election.
I wish I have the resources to count and analyze how much data was generated exactly but Bhutan telecom must have enjoyed maximum business. Twitter accounts of Kuensel and BBS were on fire that day- another record breaker! When BBS TV viewer were jumping in excitement with the result of fourth Dzongkhag we on Twitter were done with all 20 Dzongkhags results via two government media tweets.
However, National Council Election for some reason is taken lightly by people, at least on social media, and also among the 67 candidates who took part only about 10 of them were active on Facebook and just 3 on Twitter.
Come National Assembly Election and we will see the real revolution of social media. There are several groups on Facebook that are seriously discussing Bhutanese democracy and not to mention the so many anonymous intellects and analysts on Tweeter who have million questions to ask. Bhutanomics has made itself available to Bhutanese via Facebook (though its actual website is blocked) and Bhutantimes.com has made a comeback.
Feeling the need of the time all five political parties have established themselves on the major platforms of social media and are actively interacting with Bhutanese netizens. And interestingly many cabinet ministers have joined Facebook recently, and most of the new members of political parties have begun their introduction from Facebook. Some former members are already seeded player on Social media with amazing fan followers.
If you happen to see a party's page or a member's profile on your Facebook sidebar, that's because they have advertised with Facebook, which is another new thing in Bhutan.

Following table shows the presence of Political parties on Social media: (Click on the pictures to Follow them on Twitter or Like their Facebook Fan Page)






Now Imagine the amount of data Bhutan will generate, and imagine the dimension of debates and their influences on the minds of voters- even those of who are offline!

2 comments:

  1. yes it was amazing even to be a mere watcher in social media like twitter on the election's day with live updates from various corners of the country. I think fast information is so crucial and social media will play a very important role in NA's election.
    By the way sir you were doing an impressive job since the blackout days of election.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You should Participate Tshewang, Social Media is the only place where we get to meet our representatives, other times they are in big office, big car with high air...

    ReplyDelete

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