‘Memes’ fuel political hatred

With the political heat catching up in the State over the Special Category Status and the upcoming elections, IT teams and supporters of the major political parties are fuelling political hatred among the Telugu netizens through well-made memes (images and videos intended to evoke laughter) on the social media.

Though political parties try to keep their followers engaged, hourly content posted in an organised manner has been dominating and polluting the social media space, particularly Facebook, like never before.

There are hundreds of pages supporting the YSR Congress Party, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Jana Sena Party (JSP) whose only apparent agenda is to poke the rivals and propagate political hate masked as fun and entertainment.

The biggest victims of the trolls are Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his son IT Minister Nara Lokesh as a page called Political Punch targets any rival of the YSRC with offensive and vulgar memes containing morphed images of the father-son duo.

Ironically, the page has been ever growing and has more than 2.5 lakh followers. The activity on the page has increased after its admin was arrested for vulgar content on the Assembly. The admin now has a page called ‘Inturi Punch’ with more than 9,000 followers.

“Constructive criticism could be accepted but propagation of offensive content against the Chief Minister and Ministers or any person in the public domain is not acceptable at any cost. We keep reporting offensive content being pushed as memes,” said Srinivas, vice-president of the Telugu Nadu Students Federation’s city wing.

Another Facebook page called ‘Sahoo Chandrababu’ mostly focuses on promoting Mr. Naidu and slings mud against Jagan Mohan Reddy and Pawan Kalyan now and then. The pages have a proper set up of graphic designers and content creators besides activists who help them promote the content.

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