The BJP is ahead of all other political parties with regard to spending for campaigning on social media platform Facebook. During last two months in February and March, all the political parties and their supporters spending well over Rs 10 crore on advertisements on Facebook, of which BJP alone spends Rs 2.23 crore, under two categories.
According to Facebook’s Ad Library Report, there were 51,810 political ads with a total spending of more than Rs 10.32 crore between February and March 30 this year, with a major chunk coming in from BJP and its supporters. Till the previous week (ending March 23), the number of such ads was 41,974, while the total spending was Rs 8.58 crore. Facebook said these ads were related to politics and issues of national importance.
The BJP and its supporters continued to corner a bulk of ad spends with ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ page continuing to be the top spender with well over 3,700 ads and pumping in more than Rs 2.23 crore. The BJP had about 1,100 ads and spent over Rs 36.2 lakh, while other pages like ‘My First Vote for Modi’ and ‘Nation with NaMo’ also had large spending.
Compared to this, the Indian National Congress page had 410 ads and its ad spend was Rs 5.91 lakh in the February to March 30 period, as per the data. Biju Janata Dal had a spending of Rs 8.56 lakh, Telegu Desam Party (TDP) Rs 1.58 lakh and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Rs 58,355 in the said timeframe.
With ensuing general elections, the Indian government had warned social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to influence the country’s electoral process through undesirable means. Over the past few months, social media players like Facebook, Twitter and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platform and have since announced a slew of measures as part of election integrity efforts.