09 Dec

#DebateEnRedes: The discussion about whether to broadcast the investigation of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became popular on Twitter

Por Celeste Gómez Wagner and Mariela García

Updated 30 de December, 2019 at 3:45 pm

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

  • The tweet in which the vice-president-elect shared the complete video of her testimony was the most shared and replied.
  • The conversation on Twitter was polarized between the hashtags “#CFKCorrupta” (11.7%) and “#QueremosVerACristina” (10.7%).
  • Two of the most retweeted messages were posted by accounts that are among the 5 most influent on Twitter of those close to the government.

Last Monday, the vice-president-elect for the Frente de Todos, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, went to Comodoro Py to testify at the Federal Oral Court 2. She is accused of having participated in irregular activities in the allocation of public road works in Santa Cruz during her mandate as president. It is suspected that she led an illicit association with the goal of directing contracts to the companies of Lázaro Báez.

Fernández de Kirchner said that the auditing of the public works did not reveal “significant constructive deficiencies” and that it was all part of a “plan conceived” by the Mauricio Macri administration, and described the trial as “lawfare”, or the use of legal instruments to generate repudiation against her. “It’s not what’s in the file, it’s not the documental evidence, it’s the media construction that has little to do with law or facts,” she said.

Chequeado analyzed – through Trendsmap – the conversation on twitter starting from 8 a.m. on Monday, December 2, until 48 hours later. During that period, 458,700 tweets were shared about this topic in Argentina.

The peak of messages happened at 11:15 p.m. on Monday, December 2. The most influential tweet in that period (considering the number of followers of the account) was posted by the national deputy for the Frente para la Victoria Daniel Filmus, who was in the news channel C5N talking about Fernández de Kirchner’s testimony.

Interactions about CFK’s investigation

Graph elaborated in-house based on data obtained via Trendsmap about the interactions on Twitter about the investigation of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on Monday, December 2 at 8 a.m. until 48 hours later.

The two hashtags that stand out demonstrate the polarization of the conversation between “#CFKcorrupta” (“CFK is corrupt”, with 11.7%) and “#QueremosVerACristina” (“We want to see Cristina”, with 10.7%). The words used the most in the tweets were “Cristina” (33%), “CFK” (18%), “testimony” (11%), “judges” (11%), “Kirchner” (10%) and “Alberto” (7%). “Macri” did not appear among the top 30 words.

Whether to broadcast the investigation live had previously been a topic of debate. The defense of Fernández de Kirchner insisted that it should be broadcast, but the judges did not authorize it. However, Crónica TV and C5N covered part of the testimony and Fernández de Kirchner shared it from their accounts on the networks a few hours after finishing her testimony.

“This is what they didn’t want you to know. This is what they didn’t want you to see or hear”, she wrote in her Twitter, and that was the most shared and replied message. It got 12,731 retweets, 26,551 likes and 3 thousand replies.

Tweet: This is what they didn’t want you to know.
This is what they didn’t want you to see or hear …

The hashtags used the most to mention or reply to this tweet were “#FuerzaCristina” (“Be strong Cristina”, with 3.8%) and “#QueremosVerACristina” (“We want to see Cristina”, with 3.5%).

The second most shared message was published by the governor-elect of Buenos Aires for the Frente de Todos, Axel Kicillof. In his tweet, he reported that the leader of his political space “had been accused and defamed”, criticized the fact that the broadcast was not allowed, and stated: “This isn’t justice, this is persecution”. Kicillof used the hashtag “#QueremosVerACristina”, had more than six shares and was bookmarked 20 thousand times.

The next most retweeted messages were posted by @Lautiroman1995 and @atlanticsurff, two accounts that stand out among the most influential on Twitter of those close to the government (see here). Lautaro Lorenzo shared the part of the testimony when the former president said that she would not answer any questions. He wrote: “Explicit arrogance, truancy and cynicism”, obtaining 4,849 retweets.

The user @atlanticsurff shared a piece of an interview with Alberto Fernández in the program “Plan M”, presented by the journalist Maximiliano Montenegro (Canal 26, 2016). In his tweet, he accuses the president-elect of changing his opinion about the relationship between Fernández de Kirchner and Lázaro Báez. “We are in the hands of a mafia, my God”, he said. However, Chequeado confirmed that this video was passed around “with the sequence of several sentences edited and altered to distort their meaning”.

The most mentioned (retweeted with comments) message was published by the former director of Vialidad Nacional, former minister of Energy and original defendant, Javier Iguacel (@JavierJiguacel). The elected mayor of the municipality of Capitán Sarmiento in Buenos Aires argued with the national deputy for the Unidad Ciudadana, Rodolfo Tailhade (@rodotailhade), who accused him of being responsible for “initiating this infamous criminal procedure against @CFKArgentina” and for having falsified expenses.

Iguacel replied by appealing to his “honesty.” In another of his messages, he added: “I have nothing to hide, I didn’t join politics to get rich or to live at the expense of the state, quite the opposite. They’ve invented procedures like the one you mentioned to confuse us and make us believe that we’re all equal”. Tailhade said: “You’re not a worker, you’re a mercenary”, and added: “You set up the procedure against CFK and will be held responsible for that”.

Lastly, the most active accounts regarding this topic were Alberto Fernández (@alferdez), the news channel @C5N, and one of the attorneys of the vice-president-elect, Gregorio Dalbon.

* 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.