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Indian-Americans trending Donald Trump on social media for 2016

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Photo: bgr.com

New Delhi: Indian-Americans’ political preferences seem to be shifting in favor of the Republican Party, particularly Donald Trump, its front runner for the White House.

According to social media trends, the US’s third largest ethnic group is overwhelmingly supporting Trump — a billionaire real estate businessman-turned-politician who has courted many controversies ever since he jumped into the fray.

Indians in the US have traditionally been the vote bank for the Democrats. According to a study, as many as 65 percent of Indian-Americans leaned towards Democrats, making them the Asian-American subgroup most likely to identify with the party.

But this time there has been a shift, arguably for the first time in the American electoral history.

Several groups of Indian-Americans, a majority of them Hindus, have taken the social media route to voice their support for Trump. As the 2016 presidential election draws closer, various online communities and pages have come up in support of the realtor.

One such page on Facebook is “Hindus For Trump”. With around 750 “likes”, the page in its description says: “American Hindus are model citizens, educated, and industrious. We want a responsible nation where Americans are both safe and free.”

The page portrays Trump as Hindu god Vishnu, making him seated on what looks like a lotus with “Om” written at its center.

There is also a Political Action Committee (PAC), formed by leading Indian American businessmen to pool in support and contribution for an effective presidential campaign of Trump. PAC is a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates or legislations.

Indian-Americans For Trump 2016, one of the PACs supporting Trump, is formed by the members of the American-Hindu community, including Sudhir Parikh, who is the advisory chair of the organization.

Parikh is the owner of Parikh World Media, an umbrella corporation which houses news outlets influential among Hindus such as Desi Talk, the Indian American and the Gujarat Times.

However, this is not the first presidential endorsement by Hindus for Trump. The world renowned and cross-sectional Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF) endorsed him for the White House in August 2015 in its widely-circulated “India World Geopolitics” newspaper.

Although there has been a massive support for Trump from the Hindu community, a fraction of people from the Muslim community also seems to be supporting him, undeterred by his controversial remarks against the community.

Trump in one of his addresses said that “Islam hates us” and asserted that those having hatred against the US be denied entry into the country. He also called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.

The Republican has also made scathing remarks against the immigrants in his addresses.

Indian-Americans are among the most highly educated, racial or ethnic groups in the US, according to a Pew Research Centre study.

According to the study, Hindus make for 51 percent of 3.2 million Indian-Americans, while Christians and Muslims comprise of 18 and 10 percent respectively.(Prashant Kumar, IANS)

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We Got Trump Elected, Shouldn’t Stop Him in 2020; Says Facebook Executive

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day

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FILE - President Donald Trump departs after speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House July 17, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s reelection in 2020.

Was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?

“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t micro-targeting or saying different things to different people. They just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each persona.

He continued: “I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result. So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment”.

Donald Trump
Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump. Wikimedia Commons

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial (Galadriel) and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he wrote.

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

“To be clear, I’m no fan of Trump. I donated the max to Hillary,” he tried to clarify his stand.

Bosworth said that it is worth reminding everyone that Russian interference was real but it was mostly not done through advertising.

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“$100,000 in ads on Facebook can be a powerful tool but it can’t buy you an American election, especially when the candidates themselves are putting up several orders of magnitude more money on the same platform (not to mention other platforms),” he wrote.

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day.

“Misinformation was also real and related but not the same as Russian interference,” Bosworth mentioned, admitting that Cambridge Analytica was one of the more acute cases where the details were almost all wrong. (IANS)