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Digital campaign revolutionises 12th national election

Published : 03 Jan 2024 05:33 PM
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Majorities of the candidates, contesting the ongoing election campaigns across the country, have been using digital technologies in seeking votes and offering detail information about respecting candidates.

Apart from use of the traditional banners, posters, festoons, rallies, door to door visits, most of the candidates have also opted to use smart digital technologies like, social media platforms, QR codes, and short mobile messages to connect with voters. 

With over 120 million internet users in the country, virtual platforms have become a preferred medium for election campaigning.

Nominated candidates and independent contestants are leveraging social media channels, such as Facebook and YouTube to share video contents and documents to promote development activities. The use of text messages for reaching out to voters is also prevalent, and live sessions on Facebook are being utilized to appeal for votes.

Digital marketing, advertising agencies, and content creators are actively participating in the election campaign. They are producing short video clips and 'Fixed' ads to support respective candidates. Social media influencers, along with celebrities, are featured in these advertisements.

In addition to individual campaigns, there is a notable pres ence of song videos highlighting the government's development activities on social media in anticipation of the upcoming election. Regardless of the election outcome, the digital landscape has played a significant role in capturing the attention of voters and shaping the narrative of the campaign.

Talking to many of the candidates, it is known that although there are traditional rallies, meetings, processions, and poster campaigns, a change is being created through digital and online campaigns. The main ‘Focus’ there will be all the amazing digital campaigns to attract voters.

A top leader of the ruling Awami League party said in this context that now people are widely using social media. Therefore, initiatives have been taken to highlight various developments of the government here. By analyzing these contents, the image of the government’s sincere efforts among the common people will be easily clear. As a result, the voters will be motivated to give victory to the Awami League in another round of elections.

Joint General Secretary of Awami League and candidate of the party in Dhaka-8 constituency AFM Bahauddin Nashim, distributed smart leaflets and handbills in various wards. At the same time, smart leaflets and handbills were distributed in favour of Bahauddin Nashim in nine wards and 110 polling stations of Dhaka-8 Constituency. These leaflets and handbills contain a QR code. By scanning the QR code, voters can easily know the voter number, voter information and polling station information.

On the other hand, Kamal Ahmed Majumder, the Awami League candidate for the Dhaka-15 seat, is already giving slips of QR codes from his election office. Through this new system, polling station information is now available on finger tips.

Those concerned about this method told Bangladesh Post that by scanning the QR code or entering the website and giving the required information, the information of the polling station can be known.

Alhaj Mamunur Rashid Kiron, the nominated candidate for Noakhali 3 constituency about digital campaigning told Bangladesh Post, “Over the past 15 years, Bangladesh has evolved into a nation heavily reliant on digital technology under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.” 

Kiran expressed satisfaction with their ongoing digital campaign, noting positive responses and benefits. Encouraging voters, he also urged them to avoid being swayed by rumours and emphasized the visible development Bangladesh has achieved in the last 15 years under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. 

However, during the ongoing election campaign, a group of anti-government people are also active in spreading false news and rumours against the government. However, government agencies as well as social media are active in removing such falsehood news. 

In this regard, Facebook’s owner company ‘Meta Platforms Incorporated’ has stated its position to prevent ‘Rumors, Hate Speech and Harmful Content’ from spreading on Facebook based on upcoming National elections.

In this regard, the officials of Meta held several rounds of meetings with the officials of the Election Commission of Bangladesh. 

Election Commission Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Debnath earlier told reporters that discussions have been held with Meta officials to stop election-centred propaganda. If there is hate speech or any campaign outside of Facebook’s policy, they will delete, remove, and block it. If the Election Commission informs the meta authorities about any election campaign, they will remove it from Facebook.

In this regard, Meta authorities said that they have adopted certain procedures to ensure the ‘Purity of Selection’.

Meta says they remove rumours surrounding the election that could put people at risk of voting. Similarly, they also remove content that incites violence, incites illegal acts or calls for disruption of elections.

However, a simple example can illustrate how digital media is becoming popular for polling campaigns. 

Tofail Khan, the former president of the Bangladesh Printing Industry Association, said that earlier the annual market of posters alone was about Tk 300 crore. Now that market has come down to Tk 100. The main reason for this is that candidates have now opted for the alternative method of posters for campaigning. They are giving more importance to social media.