Big Data making India intolerant? it’s all Digital Politics

Data revolution is the engine for next generation transformation across industries, Politics has more connection to the economic and industrial situations around the world, Socialism and Communism got boost after the great depression, in India, the politics drove the economic progress and vice-versa. The current surge in the development in Data driven industries the political parties have started making best of the data world. BJP used big data before 2014 elections, Congress has just started it’s own Big Data and analytics center. Industry 4.0 is going to have impact on political system in India too.

Big Data revolutionized the way politicians win elections world wide now. The question is,  is data breaking the politics and making politicians a mere product? It however seems like the data is used by political parties to create market and cater to it, much like a product, polarization being one way to create the market and often data is used for it.

Polarization is no longer just polluting the system — it’s paralyzing it. The deepening divide between the right and the left has largely hollowed out the center of politics, from the politicians who once occupied the large “middle” to the voters who once gravitated to them.

One of the reason our lawmakers aren’t responding to the center of the electorate is because they’ve concluded (with ample electoral evidence) that they don’t need centrist or swing voters to win. Why? Big Data — a combination of massive technological power and endlessly detailed voter information — now allows campaigns to pinpoint their most likely supporters. These tools make mobilizing supporters easier, faster and far less expensive than persuading their neighbors. Of course, this isn’t an argument that data itself — be it “good” data or “bad” data — broke the system. It’s how the data was misused and manipulated that brought us to a breaking point. And the result is lawmakers who feel beholden not to all their constituents, but only to their supporters.

What Role Did Big Data Really Play in elections?

Political strategists once entered campaigns with a single basic assumption about partisanship: Elections would almost always be decided by about 20 percent of voters who fell somewhere in the ideological middle. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, that sliver of persuadable voters shrunk to about 10 percent.

But, thanks to the advent of what was first known as “micro-targeting,” campaign consultants realized that the easiest way to win wasn’t to persuade the folks in the middle at all. Instead, data could be used to activate every possible base voter and build a partisan firewall. Why try to change the mind of one skeptic, the logic goes, when in the same amount of time you could make sure five core supporters commit to go to the polls?

And there is an added benefit to avoiding persuasion: By courting only true believers, candidates don’t have to promise the kind of “pragmatism” that avowed partisans label “squishiness.”

“Data helps politicians to think of their constituents as not the people who vote and live in their areas, but as the people who vote for them,” says Eitan Hersh, a professor of political science at Yale University. “Data helps you dismiss your opponents.”

We should make one more important caveat before going on. Big Data is hurting politics, but that isn’t because the data is necessarily wrong, or that Big Data can’t be used for good. In fact, a lot of it — despite the cries of “fake news!” and “unskew!” in the last few elections  is accurate. And this is surely going to change politics as the big data evolves.


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