09 Dec

#DebateEnRedes: Macri’s speech in a national network transmission was discussed in his Twitter aftermath

Por Celeste Gómez Wagner and Mariela García

Updated 30 de December, 2019 at 4:00 pm

If you only have a few seconds, read these lines:

  • The hashtag “#MacriMentiraNacional” (“Macri is a national lie”) was the most used in the tweets about the topic. The support to Macri was spread through several different hashtags, which together surpassed the most popular one.
  • The most shared message was a part of the speech referring to journalism, freedom of speech and of the press published by @mauriciomacri.
  • The publication of the UCA’s poverty report hours before the speech was a trend on Twitter.

On Thursday, December 5, 2019, the Presidential Decree 815/19 was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic, making it mandatory for presidents finishing their mandates to use the national network to inform “the state of the nation resulting from their four-year administration”. On the same day at 8 p.m., Mauricio Macri transmitted a 39-minute recorded message in the national network, which he used for the first and only time in his mandate (except for the opening of the ordinary sessions in Congress, which is provided for in the National Constitution). In addition to free-to-air television and radio, the message was spread through Macri’s social networks and the Youtube channel of the Casa Rosada.

Chequeado analyzed how this topic was discussed on Twitter from December 5 at 10 a.m. until the following day at that same time. 72,900 tweets were detected including the terms “national network” or the hashtag “#CadenaNacional” (“national network”). The peak of messages sent per minute in that period was 770.

In his speech, the President, who was ending his mandate, referred to his goals in the beginning of his administration, focused on how he progressed on each of them, and recognized the mistakes he made. According to Trendsmap, the peak of activity on Twitter was registered at 8:20 p.m., during the national network transmission, when Macri was talking about his administration regarding the topics of “Human Development” and then “Economy”.

Mauricio Macri’s national network transmission on Twitter

The data refers to the activity on Twitter between 10 a.m. on December 5, 2019 and 10 a.m. on December 6, 2019. The numbers show the amount of Tweets in Argentina every 10 minutes.
Source: Elaborated by Chequeado from a keyword search on Trendsmap

Other hashtags were also used in the tweets that included the terms above. The one that stood out was “#MacriMentiraNacional” (10.2%). The hashtags supporting the president were more dispersed. Together, they surpassed the negative hashtag, although some users posted many of the positive hashtags in a single tweet. The ranking continued with “#7DGraciasMauricio” (“7D, thank you, Mauricio”, with 5.8%), referring to the march on Saturday, the 7th, at the Plaza de Mayo to say goodbye to the president; “#MauricioEstamosConVos” (“Mauricio we are with you”, with 4.9%), “#7DYoVoy” (“7D, I’m going”, with 4.4%) and “#GraciasMauricio” (“Thank you, Mauricio”, with 4.1%).

After the national network transmission, a series of images with quotes from Macri were published through the presidential account. The most shared message in the period analyzed corresponded to one of them. It referred to the connection with journalism, freedom of the press and of speech. He stated that he had never criticized a journalist before.

The second was a tweet containing of the first sentences said by the president. “For the first time in 100 years, a non-Peronist administration with a minority in both chambers finishes its mandate. This is an achievement for everyone and an advance in our democracy”.

In addition to the content of the speech, another topic prompted the debate. A few hours before the national network transmission, the Social Debt Observatory at the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) released a preview of their report about social debt and inequality in Argentina for the period of 2010-2019. The report indicates that 32.1% of homes and 40.8% of people were below the poverty threshold in the third trimester of 2019. It is “the highest observed in the current decade”, according to the report.

The outgoing director of the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC), Jorge Todesca, used his Twitter to say that the UCA report being released “at the same time as the president’s speech is a political statement”. He called it “lamentable” and generated debates on Twitter. He had 3 thousand shares, 7 thousand likes and almost a thousand comments. In this regard, Agustín Salvia, chief of the Social Debt Observatory at UCA, said the “report had been scheduled for a month”.

Lastly, according to the Newswhip tool, the news piece related to the topic “national network” which stood out the most in terms of interactions on Twitter (40 thousand, considering likes, comments and shares) was published by the Clarin.com.

Is points out that the Canal C5N added footnotes during the national network transmission, which is against the audiovisual media law. Article 75 of the regulatory decree provides that the free-to-air television channels and the news centers must broadcast the national network transmission “completely, with no changes, cuts, added text or other additions”. The chief of the Ente Nacional de Comunicaciones (the National Communications Office, Enacom), Silvana Giudici, said that there may be consequences for the channel, from “removal of advertisements” to “economic sanctions” (see here).

* The Digital Democracy Room is a project of FGV DAPP in Brazil in partnership with Chequeado, Linterna Verde and Ojo Público. It’s goal is to monitor and analyze the digital conversations regarding the electoral context.

The analysis is available the website of Chequeado here.