The recently launched EU Election Observation Mission report on the 24 June elections, has slammed the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) for using social media to disseminate very negative content, including the use of very dangerous posts by known party influencers.
“Chart 15 (on page 80) shows an unusually high percentage of negative content in the tweets by APC affiliated accounts, who frequently lamented the incumbent, the SLPP and various government decisions…The SLPP affiliated Twitter posts got 56.1 per cent of positive messages, that mainly praised achievements of President Bio,” the report stated.
In context it noted, “Negative tone was assigned to the post that was giving a negative assessment of the political opponent, party, or policy proposal, contained divisive language, swear words, or was otherwise perceived in a local context as demeaning”.
The 83 page report also found out that “on Facebook pages affiliated to the SLPP main topic was election campaign, followed by a topic ‘election procedures’, which was also discussed in one quoter of the coded posts. One in 10 posts on these pages had a voter education message.
“For the APC related Facebook pages election campaign was discussed in 70 per cent of the time, while other topics, namely election procedures and presentation of candidates were discussed in by far less frequently, as shown in Chart 12,” confirming general perceptions that the APC was never prepared and focused on winning the elections.
The report further compared the social media conduct of two main political parties and their leadership, noting that “Chart 13 shows that election-related posts from accounts affiliated with the SLPP were primarily positive in tone (55.5 per cent), while posts and tweets from accounts affiliated with the APC were less positive (46.5 per cent), and the share of posts containing negative messages was notably higher in such posts (29.3 per cent)”.