Social media dominates 2024 election campaigns | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Social media dominates 2024 election campaigns

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: The upcoming elections scheduled for February 8, 2024, are witnessing a notable shift in campaign dynamics, introducing fresh trends compared to previous years.

In contrast to the 2018 elections, there is a noticeable surge in reliance on social media platforms for campaigning in the 2024 general elections, with YouTube and Facebook becoming pivotal channels for candidate outreach.

The election strategies of political parties and their candidates are increasingly intertwined with social media campaigns, reflecting a significant change in the political and electoral landscape.

Traditionally, political parties in Pakistan conducted street corner meetings and rallies during election periods.

However, current factors such as inflation, the political climate, and evolving election strategies have led politicians and candidates to focus on more limited in-person interactions.

For instance, in Karachi, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) used to organise large meetings in various areas, while other political parties held extensive gatherings at both city and district levels.

This year, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of traditional election meetings and corner gatherings, with a distinct shift towards online platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Several candidates have cited the challenges posed by the sheer size of the population and constituency areas, making it impractical to conduct physical meetings in every locality within the constrained election schedule.

Additionally, some candidates point out that the costs associated with organising even a small gathering have surged by 100 per-cent compared to the previous election, making it financially unfeasible.

Consequently, due to factors such as inflation, the political landscape, and technological advancements, there is a growing belief that traditional electoral politics and campaign fervour may gradually diminish in Pakistan.

Future elections may witness political parties and candidates opting for digital meetings as the norm.

Digital gatherings offer advantages such as enhanced security and reduced financial burdens compared to traditional physical gatherings that require substantial investments in stage setup and seating arrangements.

Given the current trajectory, it appears that upcoming elections in Pakistan will heavily rely on digital platforms, leveraging contemporary technology for electoral campaigns.

Source: Express Tribune

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