Social media is clearly crucial to politics in India; the official twitter handle of PM Modi has already garnered over 16.3 million followers. Twitter has also been a medium of protest for citizens, while it also serves as a medium of information distribution for the Govt.
In the wake of the new social media regime, Madhya Pradesh’s CM Shivraj Singh issued a notification asking all government employees to “follow” the CM’s social media accounts, addressed to all department secretaries, division heads and district collectors.
“The number of people using social media is only going to increase in the coming days and we can use this to increase the outreach of the government. Hence, all government officials and senior rung employees be encouraged to follow honorable CM’s Twitter and Facebook accounts,” says the notification issued by the general communications wing of the MP government in May last year. [Source]
Everyone from teachers, gram sahayaks, land official, forest guards, police constables and other senior officials will have “direct communication” with the CM on social media, added the notification.
A peculiar part of the notification reads that people following the CM’s profiles should make sure that they “state their identity clearly, without violating laws of confidentiality.” MP government officials claimed the notification was meant only to “increase awareness about the presence of the government on social media.”
Note: Narendra Modi’s twitter handle sent a DM (direct message) to all of his 12.5 million followers on May this year to mark the one-year completion of his handle. The link opens up a personalized message (personalized using the handle’s first name).