The week of the constituent convention on social networks
By Espacio Público | Chile
Por Nieves Alcaíno, Manuel Arís and Guillermo Marín
Updated 16 de September, 2021 at 1:15 pm
This week in the Digital Debate, we analyzed the conversation about the constituent process and the Constituent Convention on Twitter from Monday, September 6th, until Friday, September 10th. The conversation on the networks was marked by the controversial news about the health condition of the constituent Rodrigo Rojas, the discussions about the regulations, and the controversy related to the constituents who were granted Emergency Family Income.
271,000 retweets (83%)
25,200 replies (8%)
The words used the most in publications on Twitter this week were “rojas”, “ife”, “chile”, “pueblo” (people), “derecha” (right), “proceso” (process), and “rodrigo”.
The name of the constituent Rodrigo Rojas appeared right after a news piece published by La Tercera on Saturday, September 4th, reported that the constituent had lied about his cancer diagnosis. Rojas became popular during the demonstrations after October 18th and was one of the most well-known faces at that moment, because he was suffering from mixed lymphoid leukemia and because he was strongly criticizing the privatization of the health system in the country and its high economic costs. He was elected a member of the Convention by the 13th district, within La Lista del Pueblo, a group he abandoned 4 days before the publication of the news report. The news piece showed Rojas stating that he was sick, but with a different diagnosis, shocking all members of the Constituent Convention and creating controversy in the media and on social networks.
Additionaly, the word “ife” appeared after the congressman Cristián Labbé (UDI) and the congresswoman Karin Luck (RN) filed a public complaint regarding 12 constituents who had been granted Emergency Family Income (IFE), despite earning 2.5 million pesos. Some of the 12 constituents in the list stated it was an error when updating the data in the Social Home Registry.
The hashtag used the most this week was #laconvencionsedefiende (the convention must be defended). It started being widely used on Tuesday, September 7th, by constituents and relevant political actors. On that day, the vice-president of the Convention, Jaime Bassa, made the following publication on his Twitter account, together with the hashtag: “These have been difficult days, but we know we are not alone. We will go on, because we have not forgotten we are here due to the recognition and the effective protection of our dignity and rights”.
In addition, the hashtags #referendumrevocatorioya (revocatory referendum now) and #alabasuralacc (CC in the trash) were used by critics of the constituent process and its members, prompted by the news about the IFE and the situation of Rodrigo Rojas.
The highest frequency of tweets per hour was registered on Tuesday, September 7th, at 5pm, which was the day the hashtag #laconvenciónsedefiende started being used and the most controversial day on networks regarding the situation of the constituents that were granted Emergency Family Income.
TWEETS WITH THE MOST RT
This week, the tweets with the highest number of retweets were published by the accounts of the mayor of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue, as well as José Antonio Kast and the constituent for the Communist Party and former CONES secondary spokesperson, Valentina Miranda. Daniel Jadue joined the campaign promoting the hashtag #LaConveciónSeDefiende and commented: “The Convention is being permanently and systematically attacked by those who oppose the transformations Chile needs. They are the defenders of dictatorship who work in the shadows. Do not get lost!”.
On the other hand, the tweets made by José Antonio Kast and Valentina Miranda were related to the IFE controversy. The presidential candidate for the Republican Party shared a picture of the news report containing the complaint filed by Labbé e Luck and wrote: “National shame: Constituents earn 2.5 million pesos and are granted the IFE. How long will they continue abusing the State’s resources?”. Responding to the criticism, Valentina Miranda shared a declaration targeting the right-wing representatives, “who are upset because us, the poor, have gained, through the IFE, a space to write this new Constitution”, she published.
Marcela Cubillos published a tweet in which she denied having “taken advantage”, defending the accused constituents: “I do not agree with the controversy of IFE payments to some members. I have heard explanations of those mentioned in this complaint, and it looks more like a matter of updating information in the social home registry than a case of abuse or taking advantage”, she wrote
Tweet 1: National shame: Constituents earn 2.5 million pesos and are granted the IFE. How long will they continue abusing the State’s resources?
Tweet 2: The Convention is being permanently and systematically attacked by those who oppose the transformations Chile needs. They are the defenders of dictatorship who work in the shadows. Do not get lost!
Tweet 3: In response to the insults by right-wing representatives, who are upset because us, the poor, have gained, through the IFE, a space to write this new Constitution, I share the following public declaration in which I deny their accusations.
ANALYSIS OF NETWORKS AND COMMUNITIES
This week, like in the last publications of the Digital Debate, there were not accounts connecting the two communities. In addition, for the second consecutive week, the account of Teresa Marinovic did not appear at a strong position inside the blue community, and other accounts were more important in that community. The accounts of media outlets are losing strength compared to the last analysis. The most influential accounts in the conversation this week were @meruanista, followed by the accounts of Marcela Cubillos, José Antonio Kast and T13, all of them inside the blue community. The account of the constituent Teresa Marinovic appeared in sixth place, after the account of Jorge Baradit.
This week’s analysis was carried out through the following query: (constituyente OR constituyentes OR constitucional OR constitución OR constitucion OR convencion OR convención OR convencionales OR convencional) OR (#convencionconstituyente OR #convenciónconstituyente OR #convencionconstitucional OR #convenciónconstitucional OR #convencion OR #convención) -acusación –“unidad constituyente” #debateunidadconstituyente.
Through this query, we sought to obtain conversations related to the constituent process, eliminating publications with the word “acusación” (accusation) in order to remove publications about constitutional accusations from the sample, as well as the words “unidad constituyente” (constituent unity) or the hashtag #debateunidadconstituyente (constituent unity debate) in order to filter out publications related to the pact.
We collected data on conversations produced by users located in Chile and in Spanish. The analysis considered the period between Monday, September 6th, and Friday, September 10th, 2021.
* 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.