Do you also get your daily news from Twitter? Was the last time you opened and actually read a newspaper never? Then this journalism is for you.

“Russia invaded Ukraine”, you said, after getting an afternoon update on your phone. Scrolling, you could see notifications coming in from various news apps and digital platforms. You could feel the urgency behind these; the need to be the first one to cover it, the one that takes on a different angle. 


In the 21st century, when our eyes are glued to our screens and our hands to our phones, traditional forms of journalism have been, slowly but steadily, losing relevance. While many of those in the older generations would still rather read the news fresh off the press, waiting for it at its designated daily time and savouring it like a meal, a majority of the younger audience prefers to consume news in the form of bite-sized snacks— considerably low effort and easy on their time.

Social media journalism has been called the fifth pillar of society, just after the traditional mass media which is considered the fourth pillar. Putting this into perspective, in a country where almost 60% of the population lives in poverty (UNU study), we see that 68% of the total population ends up consuming news through their smartphones (TOI article based on Reuters report). This creates an incessant (and almost crazy) need for journalists to be on their toes all the time— to grab news leads as soon as they come onto the social media space, to update ongoing stories, and to be the “winner” in this race of social media journalism. Going beyond the ambit of honesty and reality, this fast service journalism comes with its own fallacies. With WhatsApp forwards being an up and coming “news house”, it sometimes feels as if rationality gets thrown out a window. Put into this mix the rightly-placed notion of “too many cooks spoil the food”— with anyone and everyone having a platform to voice their opinions, which, more often than not, are partially-informed and poorly analysed hearsay-bearing gossip- news and sources get diluted to their best.

Disinformation is worse than misinformation, Disinformation is purposeful misinformation,” an article from Youth Ki Awaaz

Last year, media houses like Tatva India and Yuvadope ended up publishing false news pieces about communal unrest and post-poll violence in Bengal. Does this mean that a race to be the first justifies such infringement upon the truth? Does it entail that a paucity of time needs to be accompanied by a paucity of integrity?


But nothing is all good or all bad. Social media journalism goes hand-in-hand with citizen journalism, enabling stories from across the world to find a voice free from state control (except in cases when the state has banned the internet itself). It ends up giving a platform to journalism, to step out of the shadows of money and political power, to be a channel of the people, by the people, and for the people, and to sometimes truly be what it is meant to be— the plain and simple truth.


Feature Image: theatlantic.com


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) introduced an online Google form soliciting opinions of students with regards to conduction of their postponed examinations, some of which shall later be added to a memorandum scheduled to be submitted to the authorities.

Amidst the shutdown of universities across the country and the indefinite postponement of semester examinations in lieu of the coronavirus-induced national lockdown, Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad Delhi came out with a press release on 16th April 2020 announcing the release of a “Student Opinion Form” for students of universities across Delhi including University Of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Lal Bahadur Shastri Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, Ambedkar University with an aim to collect concrete suggestions and opinions regarding the evaluation of their internal assessments and conduction of semester examinations.

This new initiative has been termed as the “Padhega Bharat, Badhega Bharat aur Jeetega Bharat” (India studies, India grows, India wins) campaign. After compiling the opinions and selecting a few notable suggestions, ABVP intends to add them to a memorandum which is due to be presented to the University Grants Commission and the Ministry Of Human Resource Development shortly.

Stressing on the necessity of this initiative due to recent developments such as the possibility of examinations shifting online, Sidharth Yadav, State Secretary, ABVP Delhi came out with a statement, “The pandemic has adversely affected the student community. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the resumption of normal civic life, reopening of campuses, conduct of internal assessments and conduction of semester examinations. The semester examinations have also been kept in abeyance. Since students are the primary stakeholders, their suggestions concerning the issues that can influence their academic progress, especially the possibility of organizing web-based semester exams merit specific inclusion on our memoranda.”

The fifteen-point questionnaire includes simple close-ended questions like “Have you ever given any internal exam/project/assignment during the coronavirus pandemic or prior?”, “Are you comfortable giving online assignments/assessments?”, “What online platforms do you use?” and also opinion-based open-ended questions like “Suggest a method for internal assessment during lockdown” and “In your opinion how should the semester exams be conducted?”. Most of the questions seem to seek the students’ opinions on the possible shift of internal and external assessments to online platforms.

“This new initiative was needed as this is an unprecedented situation. The questions are thoughtful and will surely help in revealing the views prevailing among students”, opined a first-year student of the University Of Delhi, on the condition of anonymity.

The link to the “Student Opinion Form” can be accessed through ABVP Delhi’s social media accounts.

Feature Image Credits: Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad via Twitter

Araba Kongbam

[email protected]


Since the dawn of the 21st century, technology has shaped our lives. Not only has it brought us closer but also has made it nearly impossible to imagine a life without it. But, is being over-dependent on technology misguiding us from the truth?

The Brexit, the 2016 US Presidential elections and your recent Flipkart order have one thing in common. That commonality is the practice of ‘Astroturfing’ or the deceptive practise of presenting an orchestrated marketing or public relations campaign in the guise of unsolicited comments from members of the public. Many corporate companies and political parties use fake comments or reactions to create a positive brand image (shout-out to BJP IT cell).

Be it politics, advertising or corporate campaigning, this practice is so common that we often ignore it altogether. Those earphones that you purchased from Amazon had some amazingly positive views but in reality, weren’t that good after all. Or that YouTube video for a mobile phone which proved that it was the best in its segment but in reality that wasn’t the case. According to Bing Liu, a data mining expert, as many as 1/3rd of all the reviews online are fake.

Even big companies like Oppo, Xiaomi, etc. are accused of practising astroturfing. Countries like Russia and China are the stalwarts of Astroturfing. They use fake comments and posts to support the ruling party’s propaganda, inside and outside their nation. Be it meddling with the US elections or Brexit, astroturfing played a major role.

Digital marketing companies use methods like fake IP addresses and Persona Management Software (PMS) to make fake accounts and use them for this purpose. The other method is using actual people to do so. And in this sphere, I have done this numerous times without even knowing the gravity of the same.

Just after my boards, I joined a digital marketing internship. My senior told me that I’d have to write comments on YouTube videos, post (fake) reviews on Google and stories on Instagram. Mind you that I only had to write ‘positive’ comments and reviews. Mostly the content of the comments was sent by them. The videos on YouTube included music videos of hugely popular pop stars also. Unknowingly I was doing something which is not only unethical but also illegal.

The greater problem is that nearly every student who would have done such an internship can tell you the numerous times he or she may have done an activity like this. The one time that you commented something rational on a Twitter post and then suddenly several users started trolling you without any rational argument, that is the work of such astroturfers. With a few computers and a handful of operatives, whole legions of supporters can be created out of the blue, and that too at a nominal cost. How widespread these practices are is anyone’s guess, but as the size and influence of online debate increases, the demand for such astroturf services will only increase, too.

Even if we leave aside the business part aside, the political sphere of astroturfing is even more disturbing. When suddenly a hashtag gets popular on Twitter out of thin air, regular users also take part in it. New forms of software enable any organisation with the funds and the know-how to conduct astroturfing on a far bigger scale than even the Kremlin could hope for. As reported by the Guardian, some big companies now use sophisticated “persona management software” to create armies of virtual astroturfers, complete with fake IP addresses, non-political interests and online histories. Authentic-looking profiles are generated automatically and developed for months or years before being brought into use for a political or corporate campaign. As the software improves, these astroturf armies will become increasingly difficult to spot, and the future of open debate online could become increasingly perilous.

The IPC articles 499 and 500, The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and IT Act article 66A prohibit this practice. But these laws are so seldom enforced that people have nearly forgotten them.


The end goal of astroturfing is always to create a fallacious opinion about a topic among people. So the next time you search for a product or a video, remember to be sane about astroturfing and not follow whatever looks to be popular.

Feature Image Credits: Andrii Yalanskyi

Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

This piece is an overview of Stan culture in India, from the lens of Bollywood Stan Twitter.

The way in which pop culture has been consumed in 2010s has changed the landscape of, what means to be a fan of an entity or a production. Social media has drafted a hyper reality based conundrum, which is responsible for bridging the gap between the idol and the fan but, stitching itself into the aggressiveness and hostility of online trolls.

Stan Twitter is a section of Twitter dedicated to celebrities, even to the most harmful lengths. It is a by-product of a widespread Stan culture, which took its roots in the appreciation and love for a person, but has now reared its ugly head to become a pressing issue for those who surf the Internet.

While some say the term is a combination of a “fan” and “stalker,” “Stan” was first coined in 2000, when Eminem dropped a twisted allegory in a song called Stan, about a man who was pushed to the edge when his idol wouldn’t answer his fan mail. The word used to be synonymous with overzealous or obsessed. But nearly 20 years later, it’s become a badge of honour for fans, who show enough commitment to go all out for their favourite star on the Internet.

Bollywood Stan Twitter, contrary to popular opinion, consists of a worldwide audience, all of whom are part of pockets of fandoms where they spend time celebrating their favourite artists.

In the conditions of anonymity, a Stan Twitter user said, “I once tweeted that I didn’t think Tamasha was a good enough movie that warrants such appreciation. Never had I thought, that a harmless opinion I had tweeted out whilst in a conversation with a friend would become a source of violent threats, from the fans of the movie; ranging from death to me and my family.”

They added, “Twitter has blessed me with some really good friends but after a point it got extremely toxic for me and started to affect my mental health real bad. For instance, I tweeted about Salman Khan’s criminal records once and his fans crowded my mentions with rape threats. I had to lock my account and delete it for awhile. The place is filled with negativity and, yet most of us are addicted.”

Kalyan, who has been a part of Bollywood Stan Twitter for 7 years now said, “Stan Twitter is a great bonding experience for us, a kind of escape from our gruelling personal lives where we can find dependable friendships. However, it gets taxing because of the blind way people defend their idols, despite their wrongdoings. There’s both a negative and positive side to it, both of which can’t be discounted.”

It’s a rarity that fans ever hold their idols accountable, in a lexicon as infused by toxicity and immaturity. However, little over a year ago, fans of actress, Deepika Padukone, started a trend, #notmydeepika after she and Ranbir Kapoor, were spotted with Luv Ranjan, a director who’s been accused of sexual harassment and is infamous for his movies based on misogynistic ideals. The trend reached national publications and, as of today, Deepika is not doing the movie, even though Ranbir is.

This entire Culture raises some pressing questions, “Why do these things happen? Why do hordes of fans maliciously attack critics? Why do Stans behave in such an obsessive manner?”

Haaniyah, Culture Critic explains, “Some say that social media is to blame and that isn’t a completely ludicrous view. As stated earlier, Stans existed long before the age of the Internet, but the anonymity and the mass reach of social media, allows harassment and stalking to be extremely harmful while sheltering them from consequences. You can’t get a restraining order against an anonymous person who could use various accounts to stalk you. If Stans are harassing those critiquing their favourite celebrity, blocks may prove futile, as they could make uncountable new accounts, and online harassment may continue until the aggressors get bored or the target finally gives in and deletes their account, whatever.”

The over-saturation and popularisation of Standom has cemented a kind of obsessive behaviour that earlier existed at the fringes of society – one which was punishable by law, by the widespread nature of social media prohibits that too. The invasion of privacy, obsessive fantasies, aggression and possessiveness, absolute disregard for others’ well being- these are not the marks of a true fan. Stan Twitter, however, will troll me for saying this.

Feature Image Credits: NME

Paridhi Puri

[email protected]

The CEO and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, visited IIT Delhi on November 12. DU Beat brings to you the highlights.

The wintry morn was warmed up with people in suits and kurtas walking around the stage at the Dogra Hall in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi on November 12. They were preparing to welcome the masters of one of the greatest technological giants of today. About an hour later at 1 in the noon, Maya Hari from Twitter talked a little about the company and its objectives for the youth and the country. A few minutes later, the man of the hour finally arrived. It was the CEO and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.

You would expect a formally dressed techno business executive but the lean lanky bearded middle aged exec that Dorsey is, he was anything but that. If we talk in the language of stereotype, the top shots of such companies usually sport a casual hipster look. Similarly, Dorsey arrived in a black hoodie and dark leather pants sticking on his legs with a classic techno-watch adorning his wrist. He started out a little with talking about himself. One of his opening lines was “I didn’t know that I’ll be an engineer, or even an entrepreneur”. The Twitter CEO saying this words in front of the students of one of the top engineering colleges in India just shows how irony is one fickle queen. Talking about the scope and beauty of social media, he highlights how through twitter, humanity stood first hand witness to thoughts and ideals of the people of Iran, or Egypt, the communities of which were previously unexplored.

He then proceeded to answer questions from several students that were asked to him before on his Twitter handle. These questions brought in light several of Dorsey’s views. On the dominance of Artificial Intelligence over jobs, he jokingly remarked, “I’m an engineer, so, I’ll be the first one who will be affected by it.”

On the education patterns followed in different colleges, he remarked, “I can’t talk about this much since I was a dropout myself.”

Extremely humble for someone whose net worth exceeds a billion dollars, when witnessing an extremely underwhelming response to his questions of change brought about by Twitter, he tacitly responds, “that’s more than I expected.” The question vetting system at such events; something IIT Delhi is notorious for, is always disappointing. None of the really controversial questions were addressed. For example, those pertaining to how twitter tolerates, if not encourages, users spreading hate speech. This is because filtering through the cesspool will cost these organisations users, and that would affect the bottom line; users. Beat up inspirational stories and business decisions are not the ideas warranted by the youth anymore; they want answers to the questions that are hard to answer, and that don’t have a correct answer.

On a serious note, he added how Twitter has added to a sense of political awareness amongst the masses and issues that matter can all be made relevant when used in a relevant manner, like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. The event itself had a hashtag called #PowerOf18 emphasising the importance of youth to be aware of their happenings to make a change, especially in a country like India.

Hashtags can create a conversation and this can lead to discussions and change; that’s what the 41-year old entrepreneur feels about the classic hashtag trend characteristic of Twitter. After all, technology and social change both are very needed in 21st century civilisation. So if the channel blending these two succeeds with the current generation, we might just be able to tell our descendants a better tale of life in the future.


Shaurya Singh Thapa
[email protected]

Nikita Bhatia
[email protected]

Feature Image Credits: Rishabh Gogoi for DU Beat

From Chris Rock’s monologue about the lack of diversity in Hollywood to Leonardo DiCaprio winning the Oscar (can we say FINALLY?!), the 2016 Academy Awards certainly had several memorable moments which understandably sent the world wide web crazy- whether it be through the start of new memes, or the end of others (you know what I mean).

The Twitterverse once again proved itself as the place to be for anyone who wants an immediate explosion of a diverse range of reactions to whatever’s going. We present to you some of the best and most popular tweets about the 2016 Oscars:

1. When Twitter loved Chris Rock’s monologue about the lack of diversity in Hollywood:



2. Chrissy Teigen was the queen of audience reactions when Chris Rock brought out Stacy Dash, the actress who has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black History Month, who wished the audience… a happy Black History Month. Awkward much?!


3. Lady Gaga’s powerful performance of her Oscar-nominated song ‘Til It Happens To You’ with survivors of sexual assault onstage made the audience and the Twitterverse emotional. She was introduced by Joe Biden, who has been instrumental in promoting the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign, aimed at ending sexual assault

oscars 4
4. When Mad Max: Fury Road went on a mini-spree and the memes, of course, followed:
5. And of course, when  Leonardo DiCaprio finally won the Oscar for his sixth nomination. His win nearly broke the internet and definitely broke a Twitter record for the most-tweeted minute ever to take place during an Oscars telecast. There were more than 440,000 tweets per minute posted when he accepted his award, as opposed to 255,000 per minute when Ellen DeGeneres took the legendary Oscar selfie in 2014, which was the previous record holder. This tweet accurately captures our reaction:
One of the most important tweet was perhaps that of Bette Midler’s before the ceremony even began and captured what many believe was wrong about the biggest Oscar moment of the night:
Oh well. The good, the bad and the controversial, all found place on Twitter during the Oscars telecast and it sure made for an interesting feed!
Featured Image Credits: oscars.org
Shubham Kaushik

Ever since it gained popularity in the 2010s, Twitter has been the place to be on the interweb. Quick, concise and relatively direct (you can direct tweets at official celebrity accounts!), everyone from the Prime Minister of the country to the fashion blogger you follow has an account, even if they’re not that active. Recently, Twitter has also emerged as the place to talk about social issues and calamities around the globe. People use it to start campaigns and direct attention towards important issues, as well as to run updates accounts (kinda like fan-pages but with stalkerishly-accurate everyday updates) for every possible celebrity.

2015 was a landmark year that changed quite a few aspects of life as we know it, and you bet Twitter was all over it. Here’s the most loved, popular, trending and retweeted posts of 2015:

1. Most Retweeted:

most rt

The One Direction fandom reigned supreme amongst the retweeters as the most retweeted tweet of the year emerged to be Harry Styles’ message after the news of Zayn Malik leaving the boyband broke. Other One Direction related tweets also figured amongst the top, including Zayn Malik’s tweet of support after the band’s single ‘Drag Me Down’ dropped.

most rt4

The tweet about marriage equality by the official account of the President of the United States, and Caitlyn Jenner introducing herself to the world, were also amongst the most retweeted of the year.

2. India:

Twitter India also released the annual analysis of tweets that proved to be the most popular in the country.


Shahrukh Khan’s selfie with and tweet about Zayn Malik from the Asian Awards emerged as the most retweeted tweet in the country, having been RT’d over 149,000 times.

Amitabh Bacchan’s Twitter Handle remained the most followed with around 18.6 million followers, and Shahrukh Khan and Prime Minister Modi’s ranked in after him.

 india twitter trends

The top twitter trend for India in 2015 was #IPL as the T20 cricket tournament returned and saw a country known for its cricket-frenzy discuss it in over 9 million tweets. Other top trends included #SelfieWithDaughter, which started from a Modi-led campaign in Haryana to emphasise the importance of the girl child, and #BiharResults.


The twitter account of the Modi campaign Make in India became the first non-US brand to create its own Twitter emoji.

 Hashtags related to Chennai Floods (#ChennaiRains, #ChennaiFloods and #ChennaiRainHelp) emerged as a platform for the local residents to communicate and were used to give important information about the situation and in coordinating relief measures.

3. Important Global moments:


Tweets of solidarity flooded Twitter post terror attacks in Paris and other countries with the hashtags #JeSuisCharlie and #PrayForParis emerging as most popular.

black lives matter

#BlackLivesMatter became ones of the most important social movements on social media, and it all started on Twitter with people speaking out against widespread cases of racially-biased police brutality in the US.

love wins

The world celebrated a landmark move in ensuring more acceptance for the LGBT community through the #LoveWins hashtag after the US Supreme Court judgment that declared that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, thus making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

In another heart-touching moment, the Twitter community rallied for refugees from the Middle East and Africa seeking asylum in Europe to not be shunned with the hashtag #RefugeesWelcome.

One Direction emerged as the top music-related trend in 2015, and Ariana Grande as the top-trending celebrity. On the front of World Affairs, #GOPDebate and #Obama figured amongst the top trends.

4. 2015 for DU Beat on Twitter:


We at DU Beat believe in connecting with the world through the most efficient mediums, and Twitter is definitely an effective way of doing that. In 2015, we further increased our Twitter activity, with more regular tweets and instant updates from all the Festivals we covered in DU and outside. Standing currently at more than 2760 followers (with the count increasing everyday!), our biggest Twitter moments in 2015 were all the attention we got during the SRCC Youth Conference, and retweeting of our tweets during Mood Indigo 2015, the annual cultural festival of IIT Bombay by people as influential as Shaan and organisations as well-known as Nescafe.


The international DJ Borgeous also retweeted a tweet about his performance.

Featured Image Credits: Twitter

All images in the article: Official Twitter Accounts

So many of us take up a virtual internship for some reason. Maybe you have entrance exams, or you are occupied with some other work or obligation. And more often than not, the internship job description entails work in the social media department. We’d love to believe that social media is the future, and with the jobs in social media becoming serious every passing day, it is only obvious that many of us are considering a career in this field.

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of a social media internship.


  1. Quantifiable performance enables you to learn faster while working. We can always assess performances through metrics and analytics such as reach, views, likes, retweets, favourite etc. It becomes easier to learn on your own when you have insight into what works and what doesn’t
  2. You become a pro at knee-jerk reactions. The business environment is more dynamic than ever. Same goes for social media. And a social media internship prepares you well to jump at every opportunity, what with unleashing hashtags when you see something trending on Twitter.
  3. Data analysis becomes a constant job. And sans the agonizing theory of statistics, you get to learn the real world application of mean, mode, median. In an attempt to constantly gauge what works and what doesn’t, you understand the tricks of data analysis faster than any textbook can ever teach you.
  4. You get to be the cool one- from creating memes, trolling the celebrity you dislike, or even the healthy banter that companies nowadays engage in- you get to bring the cool quotient into the otherwise dull and drab corporate affairs.


  1. No kidding here, but the “glued-to-devices-24*7” isn’t really glamorous. It is all back aches and tired eyes at the end of the day, and you may as well just crash into your bed, with a feeling of hopelessness at yet another unproductive day, when you cannot see the results.
  2. You need to be personally invested and detached simultaneously. Haters gonna hate, and social media makes it so easy for them to lash out on you, whether as a brand or as a person.
  3. The constant urge to stay updated leads to Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and life becomes monotonous with scheduling and keeping a tab on insights. Consider this: – Tweeting from the wrong account is a legitimate fear, and one typo can be the end of it all.
  4. You are painfully aware that social media is a superficial platform and can never really be fully representative of the real world.


Weigh the pros and cons for yourself, and decide if you’re up for a social media adventure!


Featured Image Graphic by Kritika Narula

Kritika Narula

[email protected]

Today, the world woke up to the news of same-sex marraige being legalized in all 50 states of The United States of America. The decision, as any other reform in the past attracted mixed responses from people across the world. The social media saw a major outburst of support for the LGBT community with celebrities, companies and public joining Facebook’s ‘Celebrate Pride’ campaign by changing their profile pictures with the rainbow effect photographs.

The World Celebrated Pride!

There Are No Differences Now!

They All Supported The Reform!

A Few Were Against This!

This is when the American politician from Indian origin criticized the decision made at the US Supreme Court!

Barkha Dutt did her job right then!

#BobbyJindalIsWhite trends on Twitter!

Indians leave no stone unturned.

And a few funny moments like these!

Disclaimer: They all support same-sex marraige.


Wait! You still don’t know what happened? Here it is:

Everyone has something to say about the high Delhi University cut-offs. As expected, #tweeple cannot be left behind! Perhaps just the reason why we compiled some tweets for a good laugh.

Here are a few laugh-worthy tweets about the Delhi University admission season. In case we missed a good one, share it with us in the comments!