December 10, 2013
REACTIONS ON TWITTER, FACEBOOKWednesday, October 9, 2013
#FuerzaCristina gains strength on social networks
Thousands of social media users commented yesterday through Facebook and Twitter on President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s surgery at the Favaloro Hospital, leading to a national trending topic #FuerzaCristina (be strong Cristina) after numerous messages in support but also of critical of the government.
Throughout the day people commented on the social media networks using the hashtag #FuerzaCristina, making it one of the most discussed topics especially from 8am, when the president’s surgery started, to 1pm when the official announcement of the success of the procedure was released.
Following the trending topic, journalist Jorge Lanata had his own one, due to his admission to the same Hospital. #FuerzaLanata (be strong Jorge) became powerful at 5pm when the news of his admission was broadcast on TV channels, until the end of the day
“Lanata’s digital team couldn’t lose this opportunity and they took advantage of it,” Gaby Menta, a social media consultant, told the Herald. “A large number of people had already in the morning expressed their support to the president but there was also a group that had not posted any messages. With Lanata’s admission, there were two hashtag options and everybody was included.”
At some moments during the day up to 20 messages per minute were posted using the hashtag #FuerzaCristina. People also chose to mention the hashtags #Cristina, #Perón and #FundaciónFavaloro, leading to all three becoming trending topics but for less time than #FuerzaCristina and #FuerzaLanata.
“The effect is not always 100 percent real. Political parties have a social media team that work to impose certain topics on the networks,” Menta said. “Of course there are real people commenting on Twitter and Facebook but the trending topic was created thanks to a previously organized plan.”
But it wasn’t all Twitter. The Facebook profile of Fernández de Kirchner experienced a strong activity yesterday with the post of her medical report. More than 4,000 people shared the report, 24,500 liked the post and 3,400 commented on it. “Cristina is doing well without any complications and is in a good mood,” was written on the wall. Favaloro’s Hospital also used its Facebook profile to publish the medical report of Fernández de Kirchner, which was shared by 120 people, had 30 comments and 160 likes.
“Facebook has a different effect compared to Twitter. It doesn’t have an immediate impact, it’s just people copying stuff they see on Twitter and posting it on their Facebook walls,” Menta said.
Social media analysts explained that trending topics are created due to a high number of mentions published in a short period of time. Even though the president’s hashtag #FuerzaCristina implies a positive message, people also used it to criticize the government and make inappropriate jokes regarding Fernández de Kirchner’s health.
“A trending topic is not measured just on the number of times the hashtag is used. It depends on the amount of times the word is mentioned in a short period of time,” Lalo Zanoni, head of the digital agency Tercer Click, told the Herald. “They are the topics most discussed at a certain moment and in different cities”.
People who decided to go to the Favaloro Hospital to express their support for Fernández de Kirchner were also the focus of criticism on social media users. “I was surprised by the number of people criticizing them,” Zanoni said. “There were a lot of posts of people complaining against the noise they made that may affect other patients at the hospital.”
Menta explained that Argentina “is one of the only countries where social media users make jokes concerning illnesses and dead people.” He said the country ranks high in terms of hostility on Twitter.
“The day Néstor Kirchner died all of us who work in social media thought people would remain respectful but we were wrong. There were messages both of support and against him,” he said.
On Monday when the surgery was confirmed thousands of social media users started to comment on Twitter and Facebook and the trending topic #FuerzaCristina was created.