Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Is Buying Facebook ‘Likes’. So, What’s The Big Deal?

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot accused of buying Facebook 'Likes' from Istanbul. We tell you why it is not a big deal since most of them follow the practise

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Can you buy Facebook ‘Likes’? Yes you can very well. Just do a Google search and you will have endless queries of the same. Today the market for these fake followers or fans has become intelligent too.

I am aware of some agencies that have done or do the same to meet the demands of their clients. I have come across brands asking how can they buy cheap fans and achieve the sweet spot of a million fans. The same process is being followed by most of the political parties. So why is there a big fuss about Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot buying fans.

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The story published on NDTV states that the rival political parties are accusing that the CM or precisely the team who is handling the CM’s social media presence on Facebook, are buying Facebook ‘Likes’/Fans on the social network. The accusation has come because most of the fans of the 62-year old Congress chief minister are from Istanbul.

The prime opponent of the CM in Rajasthan, BJP has made the accusations. It is being told that Gehlot’s Facebook page is believed to have had 2,14,639 ‘Likes’ till June 30, shooting up from 1,69,077 in May. While writing the article, the page of the Rajasthan CM had 199K ‘Likes’.

The ongoing social media war between Congress and BJP has gone one step further. BJP National Spokesperson Jyoti Kiran alleged that the chief minister had bought ‘Likes’ in bulk from IT firms in Istanbul, to project popularity. To make matters worse, BJP’s Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted about the same. The tweet got more than 200 retweets.

But the Rajasthan Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma calls it a BJP conspiracy to damage the prospects of the ruling Congress ahead of the state polls this year.

She also justified the popularity of the Rajasthan CM and added that, “Mr Gehlot is known for his probity. Anyone can ‘like’ anyone across the world. There are no checks and balances on Facebook.” Now that is bit too much as I really doubt if people from Istanbul would search and ‘Like’ Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s Facebook page, to keep an eye on his activities. At least not now since Istanbul itself is going through a struggle.

 Now why buying ‘Likes’ is not a big deal?

2014 is going to be a big year for the country as it will witness the 2014 General Elections. Although social media might not affect the results, the debate will happen on the platform. BJP has been a torch-bearer in adopting social media but the party accusing the Rajasthan CM buying fake ‘Likes’ is a little stretched. In the past we had come across a report that claimed more than 50% of Twitter followers of the BJP’s PM candidate, Narendra Modi were fake.

Recently it was also revealed that the US State Department officials have spent $630,000 to get more Facebook “likes.” The department’s Bureau of International Information Programs spent the money to increase its “likes” count between 2011 and March 2013. The spending increased the bureau’s English-language Facebook page likes from 100,000 to more than 2 million and to 450,000 on Facebook’s foreign-language pages.

Buying fans and followers has been a rampant practice whether it is by brands or by political parties. It is a practice being followed by all, since we live in the herd mentality of running behind numbers.

Image courtesy: veethi.com