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06 Jul

The digital debate about the opening ceremony and the table election

by Espacio Público | Chile

Updated 13 de July, 2021 at 11:33 am

The convention has finally been installed. The suspense before the beginning of the ceremony marked one of the peaks of interactions on Twitter, as well as the two elections that happened throughout the day. Although there was a little of everything on the social networks, this time, the use of positive words predominated in the digital debate. Will this trend continue?

The first session of the Constitutional Convention was carried out yesterday, July 4. The session was scheduled to start at 10am, but had to be delayed due to reports made by some constituents that their families and followers were being targeted by police repression. The tense beginning was followed by the elected constituents accepting their positions, and then by the voting to form the table: the election of the president and vice-president of the Constitutional Convention. Elisa Loncón was elected the president of the convention and Jaime Bassa was elected the vice-president.

In the Digital Debate, we sought to analyze the state of the social networks during this historical day that formally started the process to draft a new constitution. To do so, we carried out a search of Twitter publications from midnight until 11:59pm on July 4. There were 323,700 tweets in 24 hours of data, of which 241,800 were retweets (75%) and 13,200 were replies to other tweets (4%). The highest number of tweets per minute happened at 3:37pm with 1,400 tweets, the moment when the president of the council was being announced.

The moments with the highest frequency of publications (tweets per hour) were 11:20am (8.851 tweets), when the beginning of the session was suspended, and 3:30pm (9,510 tweets), when the results of the first vote for the presidency of the table were being announced.

Unlike other analyses, in which the activity on Twitter related to the constituent process reached around 7% of the total interactions per region, this number reached more than 10% yesterday in regions such as Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica (23,2%), Araucanía (14,5%), and Aysén (13,3%).

Regarding the content in the publications, the most used words in the tweets were “elisa”, “presidenta” (president, female), “chile”, “pueblo” (people) and “mapuche”, indicating that the election of the president of the constitutional convention, Elisa Loncón, was the most commented fact of the day. This analysis also included a higher number of words with positive connotations, such as “histórica” (historical), “orgullo” (pride), “emocionante” (emotional), “felicitamos” (we congratulate), “felicitaciones” (congratulations), “hermoso” (beautiful), “posible” (possible), “comienza” (it begins). In addition, the participation of the secretary-rapporteur of the Qualifying Court of Elections, Carmen Gloria Valladares, during the inauguration ceremony was widely mentioned and celebrated.

The most frequent hashtags in publications related to the analysis were #convencionconstitucional (constitutional convention) e #convencionconstituyente (constituent convention). We filtered out both in order to better visualize the hashtags being used. The most used hashtag after the ones mentioned above was #verguenzanacional (national shame), used mostly by accounts criticizing the developments of the first day of the Constitutional Convention.

The map shows the distribution of accounts related to the left and right wings, with a clear distance between each side. The position occupied by the account of the channel T13 is interesting as it joins both communities and appears at the center.

The most influential accounts were piensaprensa, José Antonio Kast and mister_wolf_0; the three accounts were also the leaders in terms of influence in past analyses.

Methodological Note:

In order to capture the publications related to the first day of the Convention, we looked for publications on July 4 which were related to the constituent process through the following search: Constituyent* OR Constitucional* OR Constitucio* OR Convencion* OR #ConvencionConstitu* OR #procesoconstitu* OR #nuevaconstituci* OR #Constituc*

* The Digital Democracy Room is a project of FGV DAPP in Brazil in partnership with Chequeado, Espacio Público, 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 Espacio Público here.