03 Jul

The digital debate around the electoral campaign begins

by Espacio Público | Chile

Updated 8 de July, 2021 at 10:06 am

A conversation with a high volume of interactions marked the beginning of the electoral campaign on Twitter. The presidential candidates participated in the network with different levels of presence, with clearly distinct communities according to their political views.

On Wednesday, June 30, the electoral campaign for the primary elections on July 18 began. The campaign has a duration of 15 minutes, with each block lasting for 7 minutes and 30 seconds, equality divided among the candidates.

In order to analyze the conversation about the presidential campaign on the social networks, in the Digital Debate we conducted a search to learn the details about the content of the publications and the most influential accounts on Twitter. The search targeted tweets containing the accounts or names of the presidential candidates, contents about the electoral campaign during two days, starting on June 29 at 12:45 until July 1st at 12:45. In these 48 hours of data, 286,000 tweets related to the topic were published, of which 209,400 were retweets (73%) and 44,600 were replies to other tweets (16%). The highest number of tweets per hour happened at the end of the television campaign, on Wednesday, June 30, at 9pm, reaching 8,945 publications.

The amount of tweets analyzed in this search was relevant, because the 286 thousand publications related to the debate about the presidential election far exceeded the number we analyzed in the Digital Debate in previous searches regarding the consistent process. In the analysis of the conversations about the declaration of 34, we analyzed 135 thousand tweets, and during the tensions in the week before the convention, the number was around 90 thousand. The primary presidential elections are clearly attracting more conversations on social networks than the constituent process. Will this noise affect the development of the unprecedented process that our country is going through? We do not know, but the fact is that in this election-filled year, the constituent process is not the exclusive protagonist of the digital debate.

According to the data, the most frequent words in the publications on Twitter were “jadue”, “briones”, “campaña” (campaign), “anuario” (yearbook), “franja” (TV campaign) and “derecha” (right wing), and “jadue” was the most mentioned one. The words are related to the controversy regarding Daniel Jadue’s school yearbook and the content of the sash of the candidate Evópoli Ignacio Briones, which marked the beginning of the broadcast. The following word cloud pictures the weights of the most frequent words.

Like the words, the most frequent hashtags were the ones related to Daniel Jadue’s campaign. After the hashtag #franjaelectoral (electoral campaign), the hashtags #jaduepresidente2022, #jaduepresidente and #cancionxladignidad (the one shown during the candidate’s TV campaign) were the most used. In addition, the hashtag #pongámonosserios (let’s take it seriously) was created and used as a response by the candidate and his followers to the draft resolution presented by the UDI congressmen to justify statements classified as anti-Semitic in his school yearbook.

The hashtags related to the remaining candidates did not reach the same relevance as the hashtags associated with the Communist Party candidate. However, the hashtag #desderegionesconboric, of Gabriel Boric’s campaign, was one of the most repeated hashtags after the ones related to Daniel Jadue’s, far ahead of the remaining hashtags of the candidates in the Chile Vamos political coalition.

Lastly, the communities map, which shows the accounts with the most connections, showed a clear division between the Daniel Jadue community (in red), the Gabriel Boric community (in green), the Paula Narváez community (in purple) and the right-wing community (in blue).

The community shown in red was the most representative of the conversation identified in the search. Therefore, it included the largest number of accounts. Daniel Jadue’s account was in first place in terms of relevant actors, followed by Gabriel Boric’s account. None of the other candidates appeared in the ranking of the most relevant actors in the discussion on Twitter.

The tweets with the highest number of retweets were published by Daniel Jadue’s account, responding to the call of UDI congressman and promoting the hashtag #PongámonosSerios, of congresswoman Carmen Hertz’s account, defending the candidate, and of @yosoyultrapop account, criticizing the Ignacio Briones’s campaign.

Text in tweet 1: The tweets with the highest number of retweets were published by Daniel Jadue’s account, responding to the call of UDI congressman and promoting the hashtag #PongámonosSerios, of congresswoman Carmen Hertz’s account, defending the candidate, and of @yosoyultrapop account, criticizing the Ignacio Briones’s campaign.

Text in tweet 2: Public statement by Miguel Lawner, National Architecture Prize, on the terror campaign against Daniel Jadue.

Text in tweet 3: Ignacio Briones: Do you know what I would like to bury? The remains of my grandfather, Andrés Galdámez, a communist militant who was arrested and disappeared in 1974. His TV campaign is offensive and embarrassing, as are his sinister creative team and his candidacy.

Methodological Note:

The search was carried out through the following query in the Trendsmap application: ((franja Or campaña OR presidencial) OR(@paulanarvaezo OR @ProvosteYasna OR @danieljadue OR @gabrielboric OR @ignaciobriones_ OR @LavinJoaquin OR @sebastiansichel OR @desbordes OR Narvaez OR Provoste OR Jadue OR Boric OR Briones OR Lavin OR Sichel))

* 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.

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