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Note: Picking Sides: The influencer-driven #HijabBan discourse on Twitter

, Soham De, Anmol Panda, Joyojeet Pal
Published in Association for Computing Machinery
Volume: F180472
Pages: 556 - 559

Social Media is increasingly central to culture wars, and in recent years has been at the center of debates around the weaponization of peoples’ opinions in polarized situations. We examine one such issue, an attempt to allow schools and junior colleges to ban girls from wearing Hijab in India in the southern state of Karnataka, India, by studying Twitter messaging related to the issue in early 2022, when it was in the news. We find that the narrative supporting the ban of the Hijab on Twitter is primarily driven by a minority of highly-influential individuals who are predominantly male and polarised in favour of the ruling party, while the discourse against the ban relies largely on influencers from within the Muslim community. Our findings show that social media can be a useful tool to craft the contours of politically-motivated escalation in the Global South.

About the journal
PublisherData powered by TypesetAssociation for Computing Machinery
Open AccessYes