Study Shows How Pakistanis Won Hearts in India During Deadly COVID-19 Wave

According to an AI-driven study conducted by a research group from Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, hashtags like #IndiaNeedsOxygen and #PakistanStandsWithIndia trended on Twitter, with people posting tens of thousands of tweets between 21 April and 4 May 2021.

The research encompassed more than 300,000 tweets with the three biggest trending hashtags, namely #IndiaNeedsOxygen, #PakistanStandsWithIndia, and #EndiaSaySorryToKashmir. Among these, more than 55,000 tweets were from Pakistan, 46,651 were from India, and the remainder were from all across the world.


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The team lead of this research, Khuda Bukhsh, said that its method of identifying and amplifying positive messages can also improve public morale and relations between communities and countries.

“A country is going through a national health crisis like a pandemic, words of hope can be a welcome medicine and the last thing you want to see is negativity. There are several studies that show that if you’re exposed to too much hate speech or negative content, you get influenced by it,” he said.

The tweets were processed through a language processing tool for detecting positive comments as well as “hostility-diffusing positive hope speech”. The study determined that supportive hashtags originating in Pakistan easily surpassed those containing non-supportive hashtags that had more likes and retweets.


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Historically, Pakistan and India are the fiercest rivals due to a variety of external and internal factors, and citizens on both sides of the border have almost always engaged in a war of words whenever possible.

However, when the second wave of the pandemic hit India in the most devastating manner imaginable after mid-April this year, the mutual animosity transformed into a heartfelt barrage of support as Pakistanis poured their hearts out for their neighbors on social media.

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