Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
While she was perhaps not a "first mover" influencer to respond to the current crisis in India she has been effective, which is what counts. Wikimedia commons

“Presence on social media also commands a certain responsibility”, says fashion influencer Masoom Minawala Mehta

There is such a cloud around the term “influencers”; in today’s digital world an influencer is a person who has a sizeable following on social media and the leverage to influence the consumption habits of others. Many of them are just ordinary people who have the “smarts” to understand how to use the power of social media. Within fashion, these influencers often wield more power than many fashion editors. Though many of them have never worked in the industry and some of them do not even know the difference between a bishop and a butterfly sleeve if it wasn’t for google. The way they turn weddings and birthdays into branded celebrations, (aka “creative collaborations”) has raised many an eyebrow. But this is not the time for such judgments.


Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.

Love them or hate them, they are now part of the media world, with brands paying them the big bucks for endorsements, and with women turning to them for style advice. While they certainly don’t influence me, the last couple of weeks have made me look at influencing in a new light. As the crisis in India took a catastrophic U-turn none of us expected, many influencers changed their approach to content. They used their platforms to put out relevant information and stopped all brand activities before any of the fashion publications or fashion brands did, putting this crisis at the center of their content.

One of the most followed fashion influencers in India is Masoom Minawala Mehta. Masoom started life as a blogger, Miss Style Fiesta, she now lives in Belgium and is one of the more experienced digital content creators. She has been on the covers of magazines and has a voice that many global Indians listen to. While she was perhaps not a “first mover” influencer to respond to the current crisis in India she has been effective, which is what counts. From encouraging her followers to be Instagram warriors, to talking about how to stay calm in a crisis; she even started her own crowdsourcing drive.

Now the thirty-something fashion influencer has raised over Rs 50 lakh for the Hemkunt Foundation (an NGO based on the Sikh principle of ‘Welfare for All’), whose work at this time has been exemplary. Among their on-ground activities is opening an oxygen center in Gurgaon, that is open 24 hours and can assist up to 500 patients at one time for oxygen. Says the young influencer, “presence on social media also commands a certain responsibility”. She had hoped to raise about Rs 20 lakh when she started her campaign just over a week ago, but the response has made Masoom want to set her bar even higher. “No one would be happier if we can touch one crore rupees. We have seen a great deal of support coming in not only from India but from across the world.”

ALSO READ: Achieving Success Doesn’t Erase Trauma: Chris Rock

Of course, every penny, paisa, and cent matter right now, and her story is just one example of how this crisis has shown the resilience and the community spirit of India. Even with the current loss that many have suffered, all Indians, no matter where we live, lost someone that was near and dear to us. (Masoom herself lost her Nani this weekend to Covid-19). And sometimes the best way for us to cope, with grief, anger, or whatever emotion we are feeling is to do something. It could be lending a shoulder to someone; it could be using your social platform to amplify medical requests or it could be just staying home and keeping your family safe. We all have some influence, and how you exert it matters.

If you can and have the means to donate— please do so–just make sure it is the right platform, where the money is going toward is what is needed in these times. And it does not matter whether it is a family member, friend, celebrity, or social media personality who helps you verify this information because at the end of the day we are in this together. The writer Sujata Assomull is an IANSlife columnist. Assomull is the author of “100 Iconic Bollywood Costumes” and was the Founding Editor In Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, India. (IANS/JC)


Popular

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

Iconic brand Johnnie Walker, is all set to re-energize the country's after-hour culture.

With the festive season on in full swing, iconic brand Johnnie Walker, is all set to re-energize the country's after-hour culture. Through its one-of-a-kind campaign #RevibeTheNight, the brand brings together beloved music artists like Divine, Ritviz, Lisa Mishra, Taba Chake along with popular indie bands like When Chai Met Toast and Mad Boy Mink, among others to perform live across iconic community spaces in India.

The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. The brand's goal is drive social regeneration in India and bring back the vibe of socializing through local music artists and reignite the trade, driving social culture by executing the live events with Covid measures in place and a limited capacity audience capacity.

band performing on stage in front of people The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. | Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content.

By Nikhila Natarajan

In a continuing study on the effects of machine learning (ML) on public conversation, Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content. "In six out of seven countries - all but Germany - tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group," Twitter blogged.

"Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organisations, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets." Since 2016, Twitter users are able to choose between viewing algorithmically ordered tweets first in their home timeline or viewing the most recent tweets in reverse chronological order.

"An algorithmic home timeline displays a stream of tweets from accounts we have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content Twitter thinks we might be interested in based on accounts we interact with frequently, tweets we engage with, and more. "As a result, what we see on our timeline is a function of how we interact with Twitter's algorithmic system, as well as how the system is designed."

The new research is based on tweets of elected officials of House of Commons members in Canada, the French National Assembly, the German Bundestag, House of Representatives in Japan, Congress of Deputies of Spain, House of Commons in the UK, and official and personal accounts of House of Representatives and Senate members in the US, as well as news outlets, from April 1 to August 15, 2020.

gold Apple iPhone 6s displaying Twitter logo Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
Flickr

Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal.

Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".

Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.

"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.

"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)


Keep reading... Show less