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08 Jan

#DebateEnRedes: Susana Giménez talked about poverty and the opinions about the topic divided the conversation on Twitter

Por Celeste Gómez Wagner

Updated 23 de January, 2020 at 10:56 am

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

  • The presenter said “northern people, for instance, must be taught how to plant, how to manage a hen house”.
  • In the 19,300 tweets shared about this topic in Argentina, the most used hashtag was “#elgallinerodesusana” (“Susana’s hen house”), promoted by the channel C5N.
  • The two most retweeted messages reflected the division of opinions: one supported her statements and the other one was against them. The first message was shared by an account opposed to Kirchnerism, and the second was shared by an account that defines itself as Peronist.

Last Friday, the words of TV presenter Susana Giménez sparked a controversy that reverberated in both the media and social networks. In Punta del Este, in an event organized by Venetian Luxury, the presenter was asked about the dollar tax implemented by the Argentinian government and said she thought it was “horrible” and “madness”. The highlight happened when she talked about poverty. She asked people to “stop talking” about this topic and said that “if there’s a lot poverty, let people migrate to the countryside”. She added: “We’ve always been the barn of the world. Northern people, for instance, must be taught how to plant, how to manage a hen house”.

This topic prompted a debate on the social networks. Chequeado analyzed – using the Trendsmap tool – the conversation generated between January 8, 2020 at 8 a.m. and Wednesday, January 8 at the same time. 19,300 tweets were registered in the country sharing their opinion.

Among the most used hashtags in the conversation, “#elgallinerodesusana” (“Susana’s hen house”) stood out. That hashtag was included in 25.1% of the messages and promoted by the channel C5N. The most replied and most mentioned message (retweeted with comments) was published by Juan Amorín, a journalist for C5N. The peak of interactions was registered at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, January 6, during the broadcast of the program Minuto Uno, in which the hashtag was promoted.

Interactions on Twitter about Susana Giménez’s statements

Source: Elaborated in house based on data obtained through Trendsmap about the interactions generated on Twitter from Susana Giménez’s words about poverty from January 5 at 8 a.m. until January 8 at the same time. Only tweets shared in Argentina were considered.

The most used hashtags were “#susanagimenez” (7.2%) and “#investigguenladeudam” (“Investigate the M debt”, with 7%). Regarding the latter, it is important to remember that the presenter had publicly expressed her support to the previous administration of Mauricio Macri. That is why there were many tweets using the presenter’s statement to criticize the Macri administration (for example, see here).

The two most retweeted messages illustrate how this issue became polarized between those supporting Giménez’s statements and those against them. The most shared tweet in the period analyzed was published by the user Martin Fierro (@martinfierro70), who was also the most active accounts (in terms of mentions, retweets and replies). The account has been active since 2013, is followed by 3,585 users and is opposed to Kirchnerism (the hashtag he used the most in his last 3 thousand tweets was “#novuelvenmas” [“don’t come back”]). This time, he shared a video of the interview with Susana and supported her statement: “Tell me if you disagree with everything that was said. If you agree, RT this so we’ll know”. The message received 1,900 retweets and 2,500 likes.

On the other hand, the second most shared message was published by Gabriel Soglio (@gabrielsoglio), who came second in the ranking of the most active accounts on Twitter about this topic. The user has 20,900 followers (with an increase of 8 thousand in the last year), has been active since 2015 and defines himself as a Peronist (the hashtag he used the most in his last 3 thousand tweets published was “#saliendodelcaosmacrista” [“Leaving the Macrist chaos behind”]). He shared an image of the presenter in the foreground without makeup and said with an ironic tone: “Don’t share this image which definitely won’t please Su [Susana]. Don’t share it, you’ll make her feel bad”. The message reached 1,026 tweets and was bookmarked 957 times.

In the ranking of most shared messages, the tweet by user @MarceOzz, who also defines herself as Peronist, came in third place. The profile has 34,300 followers and has been active since 2010. She shared a photo of the Mercedes Benz car, which the presenter bought in the late 80s and was the object of a lawsuit related to a contraband network. “Susana and the hen houses. An instant classic”, said the user, obtaining 927 shares. The same message was also shared in other tweets (for example, see here and here).

This last topic was also emphasized in the conversation. For example, the Minister of Government of Buenos Aires, Teresa Garcia, said in her Twitter account that “people need to learn not to evade taxes and not to hide cars patented as ‘for disabled people’”. She also referred to other tax evasion accusations regarding the presenter. Daniel Arroyo, Minister of Social Development, also referred to this topic. When asked about it at the Rádio La Red, he said he believes that “food production is one of the best ways to overcome poverty”, and that in Argentina even the workers are poor.

Inside Giménez’s inner circle, her brother Patricio came to her support and said in a telephone interview for the program Intratables: “There is a lot of land that could be communal. Squares could have apples and oranges so that the children begging at the traffic lights might have something to eat”. His words continued prompting the debate on the internet until today, both for support and opposition.

* 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.