Why is MufflerMan still trending? – An analysis


Why is MufflerMan still trending on twitter? – a question that surely is trending on thousands of brains. Supporters of #MufflerMan are rejoicing this pleasant surprise, while the hashtag is giving headache to his rivals. Even the media has been wondering and reporting on the same issue. Popular media houses like BBC, Hindustan Times and DNA have already run a story on #MufflerMan.
The hashtag has been trending in India at the top on twitter charts for more than a week now. It becomes quite significant because during this period, prime minister Modi has been on diplomatically very important international visits. Overtaking all the other important events in the country, #MufflerMan keeps dominating twitter for more than a week now. During this whole week the man Arvind Kejriwal has been on meditation and was not in touch with the external world. By the time he returned back on 24th November, the brand #MufflerMan was already established.

Number of posters showing #MufflerMan as a super hero are floating on social media. People are talking about books, movies, and cartoon shows on #MufflerMan. This imaginary character seems to have secured the top position for himself as an indigenous Super Hero.

Twitter has a very strong algorithm which makes it very difficult for any hashtag to trend. To be able feature on twitter as a trending topic the hashtag has to meet a number of criteria –

  • It has to have no foul language in it.
  • It has to be popular with a lot of people in a short period of time and has to “peak” in popularity.
  • Total number of tweets and the total number of people tweeting both matter. But having a lot of tweets alone wont matter unless a large number of people are tweeting about it.
  • Addionally it has to be a new topic that has suddenly become popular. If it has been popular earlier, a new bunch of people should have started tweeting about it, for it to be in the trends.

Afterall who is this #MufflerMan?

The hashtag refers to Arvind Kejriwal, an anti-corruption activist turned politician. He is a patient of diabetes and chronic cough. Kejriwal has been giving tough time to all the established politicians of India, merely by virtue of his spotless image and the guts to take on the most powerful people of India. He is the national convener of a newly launched political outfit Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that has managed to be in the centerstage of Indian politics at national level.

Though AAP is known to have a strong presence on social media, this is through a large number of un-organized volunteers. Unlike other national parties, AAP does not have any professionally hired team to do this. In spite of this limitation, with the efforts of their selfless volunteers they often succeed getting their hashtag on twitter trends. But its unusual to keep the hashtag in trends for more than a day or 2, largely because the same people tweeting about the same topic wont let the hashtag stay in trends longer.

#MufflerMan staying on top in India trends for so long off course means new and new people are developing interest in the topic on daily basis. This is a good news for a party like AAP that is totally dependent on volunteers.

As of now #MufflerMan keeps his political rival on their toes and the whole nation is wondering Why is MufflerMan still trending?

I tried to analyze this hashtag on a popular analyzer site Topsy.

The website shows analysis of the hashtag for last one month. The earliest tweet recorded using the same hashtag is the one embedded below.

Supporters of the key major political rival, BJP are more than often seen making fun of his health. So it all started with a similar tweet making fun of Arvind Kejriwal who is a patient of Diabetes and Chronic cough. During winters he is seen wearing a Muffler to protect himself from chilling winters of Delhi.

This same hashtag was again used on subsequent days to abuse Arvind Kejriwal



And here comes the smart move by AAP volunteers. The earliest popular positive tweet using the hashtag #MufflerMan that I could trace on topsy is this one with a beautiful poster showing the #MufflerMan as a superhero ready to wipe off corruption from India.


It soon became popular after the below tweet was retweeted by a popular handle of an AAP supporter.

As of this moment #MufflerMan has generated whooping 1,80,000 tweets in last 7 days. Hashtags like #Modi and #Namo used for prime minister of India (which is the only brand his political rival BJP has) have been left far behind on twitter charts.



#MufflerMan story is a classic example of “आ बैल मुझे मार” situation as is said in Hindi. A hashtag used to make fun of illenss of ones political rival, bouncing back with blockbuster twitter trend that refuses to bow down.

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