28 Jun

The presidential decree for the first session of the Constituent Convention on Twitter

por Espacio Público | Chile

Updated 29 de June, 2021 at 3:10 pm

President Piñera signed the decree to institute the constituent convention, causing several different reactions on Twitter, where contents were strongly determined by the dilemma between constituted power and constitutive power.

In the Digital Debate last week, we prepared an overview of the discussion on Twitter about the constituent convention. This week, we decided to dive deep into a specific topic in the discussion: the Twitter publications related to the presidential decree signed this week, establishing the date, time and place for the first session of the Constituent Convention. The sample covers the publications related to the decree in the context of the constituent process of June 16 to 23.

Out of 168 hours of data, there were a total of 8,600 thousand tweets and 7,900 thousand retweets (92%). The highest frequency of tweets per hour was 578 tweets and happened on June 21. The decree was signed by the president on Sunday, June 20, and became a topic of conversation and debate from June 21 on. The decree established that the first session of the Constitutional Convention will happen on Sunday, July 4 at 10am at the old National Congress building in Santiago.

The reactions were varied. Some constituents belonging to the “People’s List” disapproved the decree, stating that the president has no authority to condition the investiture of positions. This generated controversies about the limits of the constituent power and the constituted power among some discussion groups. This argumentative line of reaction allows us to better understand the content of the publications appearing in the search results.

According to the search, we were able to analyze the information that is repeated the most in Twitter publications by looking at the words used the most by users. As seen in the word cloud below, the words that stood out are session, convocation, tricel (Tribunal Calificador de Elecciones, or Qualifying Court of Elections), first, transcendental, and dignity, among others. For the anecdote, the word “small” was mentioned a lot, probably alluding to the idea of “small print” contained in the decree, as well as the word “anarcos”, probably alluding to the desire for greater autonomy of the convention promoted by some sectors.

Regarding the hashtags in the publications, the most frequent concepts were #voceriadelospueblos (People’s Voice) #apruebodignidad (Approve Dignity) and #convencionconstituleza (Contituent Convention).

The accounts with the most connections participating in this debate were Sergio Melnick and the elected constituents Mauricio Daza (district 28), Daniel Stingo (district 8), Fernando Atria (district 10), Jaime Bassa (district 7) and César Valenzuela (district 9). Unlike the previous week, most of the accounts involved in the conversation belonged to elected convention members, and not to communication vehicles. The protagonism of the convention members may be explained by the fact that it was a more specific topic related to the convention.

In this ranking, it is interesting to observe the order in which communication vehicles appear, with digital vehicles showing the most connections and appearing in the following order: Interferencia, Piensaprensa, El Mostrador, La Tercera and El Desconcierto. Lastly, this ranking also shows President Piñera’s account in 19th place. Will the president continue to appear in the monitoring of the Digital Debate about the discussion of the constituent convention on social networks?

The communities map shows clearly the nodes of the accounts with the most connections. After applying the modularity measure, it was possible to identify digital communities associated with defined political sectors. As previously mentioned, the elected convention members were the protagonists of this debate in particular and were positioned in three types of communities.


Methodological Note:

This report was prepared based on the query of Twitter interactions through the Trendsmap application, which provides detailed information about any conversation on Twitter using search terms and filtering through various options.

The search was conducted using the following terms: decreto OR juramento OR Instalación OR Aceptación OR intromisión OR intervención OR “4 de julio” OR Ceremonia (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.