U-M study examines Twitter style of India’s PM Modi

By | November 30, 2017
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has more than 36 million followers on Twitter, used political humor and sarcasm to become broadly appealing and refashion his political style, according to a U-M study of his tweets led by Joyojeet Pal, assistant professor of information. The study, published in the International Journal of Communication, shows that Modi tweets under nine broad themes: cricket, opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, entertainment, sarcasm, corruption, development, foreign affairs, Hinduism, and science and technology. But what struck the researchers was his “use of political irony and sarcasm to become broadly appealing and refashion his political style.” After analyzing and coding more than 9,000 tweets over a six-year period, they found that sarcastic tweets were closely concentrated around election and campaigning cycles. According to the researchers, Modi’s use of sarcasm builds on a longer tradition of slogan humor during political rallies.

screenshot of Narendra Modi's twitter page