New Delhi: Swara Bhaskar was the only Indian celebrity with over 1 million Twitter followers who tweeted in support of international pop singer Rihanna, who days before tweeted on ongoing farmers protest in India, an academic study has found.
A paper titled "Rihanna versus Bollywood: Twitter influencers and the Indian Farmers' protest", released by a team of individual researchers led by Joyojeet Pal of University of Michigan, USA found that the more followed a celebrity, the less likely they engaged in support of the tweet by global women influencers who spoke on the farmer's protest.
On February 2, 2021, the American singer posted a tweet, asking "why aren't we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest" tagging a CNN report on the protest.
The researchers also found that there was strong suggestion of coordinated or collusive tweeting from the key Indian celebrities, based on the timestamps of their tweeting, and the contents of the text.
The study based on the analysis of the Twitter's search API found that Rihanna's tweet was trolled on issues of gender, ethnicity/race, and religion. It was also found that Twitter account holders who spoke on the issue saw increase in the number of the followers.
While it was found that a range of entertainers and journalists got engaged in the activity surrounding the tweets, almost no sportspersons got involved in support of Rihanna, except for badminton champion Jwala Gutta.
It is revealed that majority of the journalists or public commentators who engaged with the singer's tweet, were supportive of the tweet. Dilip Mandal was the journalist/commentator who had the maximum amount of engagement related to Rihanna.