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#BoycottPathaan: A Twitter Analysis Of The Roaring Bollywood Success

By: Shivansh Sharma


The spy thriller movie, "Pathaan," released on January 25th, 2023, has already been a massive hit globally, grossing over INR (Indian Rupees) 600 crore. However, its journey to success was not smooth sailing, as it was mired in controversy from the start. The first song of the film, "Besharam Rang," was released on December 12th, composed by Vishal and Shekhar and sung by Shilpa Rao. The song features Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone dancing on a coast, but it sparked controversy due to Padukone's costume - a saffron-colored bikini. Saffron is a highly sacred in Hinduism, symbolizing purity. The Madhya Pradesh Home Minister, Narottam Mishra, was amongst the Hindutva supporters who raised objections to the costume and deemed it highly objectionable, claiming that the song was filmed with a contaminated mentality. 

The song's title, translated as "Shameless Color," became a topic of discussion and was linked with Deepika Padukone's saffron-colored bikini. Some people felt that the song hurt the sentiments of Hindus. As a result of the controversy, many right-wing supporters, including politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), criticized the song and called for a boycott of the movie. Moreover, tweets and discussions about the music and the film only fuelled the controversy further. The Madhya Pradesh Home Minister, Narottam Mishra, even threatened to ban the film's release if the filmmakers did not correct the objectionable scenes. A petition was also filed against Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in a court in Muzaffarpur district for hurting Hindu sentiments. Despite the controversy, Shah Rukh Khan responded positively, "The only way forward is to remain positive." He also targeted the media for the ongoing debate, stating that social media is often driven by a narrow view, making it divisive and destructive. At the Kolkata International Film Festival, he spoke about how cinema can bring to the forefront humanity's immense capacity for compassion, unity, and brotherhood. 


The use of social media has become a powerful tool for individuals to express their opinions and views on various topics. One such topic that recently gained traction on Twitter was the #Boycottpathaan hashtag. This essay aims to examine the tweets that were posted using this hashtag between 5th January and 6th January 2023. The collected tweets, which were generated from 18:26 on 5th January to 18:48 on 6th January, were retrieved using the TAGS tool designed to write and retrieve tweet data. The tweets provide valuable insight into the thoughts and views of the individuals who posted them. A thorough examination of the tweets reveals a mixed reaction to the #Boycottpathaan hashtag. Some users supported the boycott, citing various reasons for their stance. On the other hand, others opposed the embargo and provided counterarguments.

Regardless of the views expressed in the tweets, it is clear that social media has become a platform for individuals to voice their opinions and engage in discussions on a wide range of topics. The #Boycottpathaan hashtag is an example of social media's impact in shaping public opinion and generating debate on various issues. In conclusion, the examination of tweets using the #Boycottpathaan hashtag provides valuable insight into the opinions and views of individuals on a specific topic. It highlights the power of social media as a platform for individuals to express their thoughts and engage in discussions. The tweets collected through the TAGS tool provide a rich source of information for further analysis and research.


The pie chart above shows that retweets accounted for 15,126 or 86% of the 17,581 tweets collected over 24 hours. Furthermore, retweeting is significantly more popular than original tweeting, and only 14%, 2,455, were original tweets. The pie chart also represents a ratio of average tweets per user, that is, 2.8 tweets per user. And the graph depicts Twitter's recent failed attempt to encourage more intelligent online sharing, as most users opt to regurgitate the work of others rather than develop unique information.


This study's overall number of tweets is 17,581, and the total number of users is 6316, indicating that one individual almost tweeted 2.8 times. This ratio aids in comprehending the trend's relevance and the amount of user involvement.


The top five most retweeted tweets are shown below. The most retweeted tweet received 803 retweets and was made by @sumidas189. Surprisingly, none of the top ten tweeters sent the tweet. On the other hand, Sumita Das with a botometer score of 3. According to the botometer, she is likely to be Bot.

Sumita Das belongs to India and has 3,192 followers, and follows 1,607 people.






Throughout the data-collecting period, most users sent a single tweet, with an average of 2.8 tweets per user. Just over 16% of tweeters posted a single tweet, 0.91% posted two tweets, and 0.57% tweeted and posted three tweets.



It is also beneficial to investigate who the top ten tweeters are. These are the most active #Boycottpathaan supporters, reflecting how strongly people oppose the film's release. The range of values within the top 10 tweeters was still surprisingly divided, with the top four tweeters delivering a total of 527 tweets compared to the 466 counts of the remaining six. The top ten tweeters accounted for about approximately 6% of all tweets.


During the data-collecting period, most users submitted a single tweet, with an average of 2.8 tweets per user. On the other hand, the top tweeters contributed substantially more than the average.



All top ten accounts were evaluated using the online 'Botometer' tool to reveal their bot score before a second human screening. Because the web tool utilizes a 0-5 scale, we'll assume the working limit, in this case, was 2.7.

Looking at the Top 10 Tweeple, six are likely to be Bots with a Botometer score of 3 or above, while four are likely to be human individuals. These bot accounts produced around 3.38% of the 17,581 tweets. The tweets on the report, however, are irrelevant to our research. Aside from the frequency of the postings, it isn't easy to recognize these accounts as bots, especially since many must begin with the basic profile, have a profile photo set, and frequently have decent follower numbers. On the other hand, their tweets garner minimal attention, and one easy technique to decrease noise from these accounts is to filter out tweets that receive few or no tweets. This eliminates some actual tweets but provides a more accurate representation of what a Twitter user would see and respond to when using the service. Twitter's efforts to diminish the effect of these accounts have proven successful, based on the decrease in evident bots and spammers.



                                                                                                                                    TWEETS PER HOUR

The timeline displayed here reflects the volume of tweets from 1:00 am to 6:00 pm on 6th January, and the diagram represents the number of tweets made per hour across the entire dataset. The Number of tweets started relatively low, but they increased steadily. The peak in tweets was noticed on 6th January 2023 between 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 in the morning, with 1,393 and 1,373 tweets made by people using #Boycottpathaan. 


The given information depicts the number of tweets posted per minute, which started relatively low. The sharp upward trajectory just before 4:00 am on 6th January was noticed, reaching the highest number of tweets, 55 at 4:20 am.



Only 352 of the 17,581 tweets were geocoded. Geo-location on tweets is an optional feature for Twitter users, with an estimated 2% of geocoded messages. A location for the user profile is optional; however, it is more commonly used by Twitter users than geocoding. It allows users to post whatever they wish as their profile location rather than geocoding their tweets. Consequently, 8,080 Twitter accounts, or 45.9%, have their place activated.


The above figure represents the top ten user locations with the number of Tweets contributed per user location. They are all from different parts of India, demonstrating a large Indian audience on Twitter. The number of tweets from parts of India represents that the movie 'Pathaan' is not only condemned to be released at a particular place, but many people didn’t want the film’s release in different regions of India because of objectionable scenes and Deepika Padukone wearing a saffron-colored bikini.




The most common device used to tweet was Android, making up 72.1%, 12,659 of the total tweets. The Web App is the second most used to tweet, with 12.3% or 2,171 tweets. The iPhone made up 9.9% or 1,734 tweets, leaving behind Buffer, Qlabe, and other devices to make up the remaining 5.7%.

The most common device used to tweet was Android, making up 72.1%, 12,659 of the total tweets. The Web App is the second most used to tweet, with 12.3% or 2,171 tweets. The iPhone made up 9.9% or 1,734 tweets, leaving behind Buffer, Qlabe, and other devices to make up the remaining 5.7%.


The top hashtags convey a lot about the Twitter audience's underlying demography. Many of the top hashtags asked people to boycott the Pathaan film.

Tags like #BoycottBollywood and #BoycottBollywoodKiGandagi, and #Bollywoodactresshot demonstrate that most of the conversation eventually centered on criticism of the Pathaan film.


Overall, analyzing the tweets concerning the boycott of the Pathaan film provides a decent snapshot of how Twitter users see Bollywood movies these days and what they do not want to see in them. The scope of the argument is rather broad. Still, the conversation is eventually centered on a single issue, whether movies like Pathaan are truly hurting people's feelings or are politically affiliated agendas. The analysis also demonstrates Twitter's growing importance as a medium through which ordinary people can directly express their concerns and communicate their dissatisfaction with anything they feel, including movies or songs, without the filter applied by traditional methods of reaching a large audience. However, traditional media is not entirely forgotten, and journalists and news organizations continue to play an essential role in contextualizing and summarising debates. Even in the vast, accessible, and rapid online conversation, respectful journalists are still seen as reliable sources of information and opinion on all matters.

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