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Twitter India launches #PowerOf18 initiative for youth civic engagement

Twitter has launched a social initiative, called #PowerOf18, aimed at encouraging the youth of India to contribute to public debate and participate in civic engagement in the upcoming election season. The initiative was launched by Jack Dorsey, CEO & Co-Founder, Twitter, and Maya Hari, Vice President & Managing Director, Twitter Asia-Pacific, in a Townhall chat with the students of IIT Delhi yesterday (November 12, 2018). The campaign launch is marked by an emoji activated by the #PowerOf18 hashtag. 

According to a new survey from Twitter India, voting rights emerged as the top response when asked what people would consider the power of turning 18 years old. The research conducted with over 3,600 respondents aged 18-30 years, comprising Twitter and non-Twitter users, focused on people’s attitude in India in shaping the political and social environment. The survey found an overwhelming 94 per cent of the respondents indicating that they would vote in the upcoming elections. 87 per cent of Indians surveyed believe that voting makes you a responsible citizen and more than half (53 per cent) are voting because they want to make a difference. 

The study also pointed towards the rising importance of social media for information consumption. 57 per cent of the youth surveyed would turn to social media to find out what’s happening in India and around the world, a percentage higher than all other mediums, including newspapers. 69 per cent of Twitter users surveyed always stay up-to-date with political news and events versus 44 per cent of non-Twitter users. 

Additionally, the survey found Twitter users more engaged in civic discussion versus non-Twitter users. 59 per cent of Twitter users actively engage with and raise concerns to the government on issues that affect them or their community versus 37 per cent of non-Twitter users. Two in three Indian Twitter users believe that they are contributing to the public debate by posting on Twitter. 

In relation, Twitter India aims to encourage the youth of India with #PowerOf18 to leverage the platform for public conversation and vote for the future they seek. As part of the initiative, Twitter is kickstarting the initiative with an online video series on @TwitterIndia, featuring young personalities across India such as singer Jassie Gill, boxer Nikhat Zareen, writer, poet and #MeTooIndia voice Mahima Kukreja, sharing about their inspirations and their view of #PowerOf18. Twitter seeks to work with more like-minded partners and personalities to create awareness of the importance of voting. 

Announcing the initiative, Maya Hari said, “Our philanthropic mission is to make the world a better place by harnessing the positive power of Twitter. Our company embraces this mission by focusing our support where we can make the greatest impact. Today, we launch #PowerOf18 to encourage the youth of India in taking your place as changemakers and join the most important public conversation for the country - the state and national elections.”

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