Over the last week massive demonstrations have been taking place in Egypt. The protests which began peacefully were calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down from office immediately. After days of protests, Mubarak finally addressed his countrymen in a speech through which he told the people of Egypt that he will not step down until his term is complete in September, but that he will not run in the next election. He also stated that he will not live anywhere but his country, where he intends to die; indicating that he will not stand for being exiled like Tunisian leader Ben Ali. This speech led protestors to become divided and has resulted in extreme violence in Tahrir Square where the demonstrations are taking place, as well as other parts of the country.
SocialEyez has been monitoring the issue closely. The following report details the results of an extensive search on the social media coverage resulting from Hosni Mubarak’s speech, and its aftermath. The social media monitoring time frame is from February 1, 2010 to February 3, 2011.
Our research generated a total of 53,577 comments/posts during this time, related to the reactions to Mubarak’s speech. Below is the chart of the daily volume that we captured:
The activity was highest on February 1st; the day of the speech, with approximately 60% of the results being found on this day. The activity decreased gradually over the next two days, due to interruptions in communication channels.
Socialeyez has categorized the comments into the four main opinions being voiced. This diagram demonstrates the breakdown and a sample comment from each opinion group.
The majority of the results (49%), held the opinion that Mubarak needs to step down immediately, and not in 6 months time. Comments like “Egyptians will not accept this anymore. Mubarak must not leave in September, he must leave now” or “Mubarak wants to leave with his dignity in September while trampling over the dignity of 80 million people” were found on several social media channels.
Meanwhile, 34% of users held neutral opinions and posted news, or links to sites with more information on the issue.
13% of users felt that the United States and other nations should offer support and aid to the Egyptian people. For example: “Obama must tell Mubarak to immediately resign or lose all US aid.”
Those who felt that Mubarak has the right to finish his term were in the minority at only 4% of the results captured. Comments like “President Mubarak could’ve left Now, But Just to Make Things Clear, He Wants to Leave Egypt When The Egyptians Are Safe. He is an Egyptian & He Will Die an Egyptian!” were less common in the analyzed results.
Where were people talking?
The vast majority of posts were found on Micro-blogs such as Twitter (44%), followed by Other Media Types (31%) these include comments posted below news articles. Facebook was responsible for 10% of the results. It is important to note that in the majority of the actual conversations took place on Message Boards/Forums, while results found on Micro-blogs and Social Networks were simple statements or links to news articles.
In terms of the age and gender of the users who contributed to the online buzz, the majority (45%) was male, and 62% were under the age of 35. This shows that youth are playing a major role in actively expressing their opinions on the issue. Below is a word cloud of terms which were related most to the topic:
By: Dennis Frieß & Raghad Tayeh