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Who Is Setting The Social Media Agenda?

That’s the billion-rupee question. The late actor Sushant Singh Rajput continues to trend for nine months now. On March 17, the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who is in the eye of the storm, was trending on Twitter via #IamwithAnilDeshmukh. A few months ago, it was the Mumbai Police Commissioner who was subsequently transferred.  The question everybody is asking: Does Deshmukh have the charisma or mass following like his boss Sharad Pawar, the NCP Supremo? Earlier, when the Founder-Editor of Republic TV was arrested by the Mumbai Police he was trending at #1. It was a natural public sympathy; even the Supreme Court made scathing remarks on the illegal arrest. Sure, he had a strong platform to tell his story. Similarly, starlet Rhea Chakraborty was trending both ways; for one group she was a villain whereas for the other group she was a victim. Suddenly you see #CBI Expose Jiah Khan Killers trending. Jiah died in 2013. The last time the whole country, sans social media, came together was during The Emergency in the mid-70s. Likewise, the Anna Hazare movement over corruption became a national movement.  So, this trending business raises lots of questions. Who decides the trending patterns and ranking? In whose interest it is to keep issues alive? Is it a perception game? Does judiciary take cognizance of social media numbers?