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MEMO98

MEMO98

MEMO98 is a non-profit non-government organisation that has been monitoring the media in context of elections and other events for more than 20 years, and has carried out its activities in more than 50 countries. Recently, the organisation has also been dealing with the impact of social media on the integrity of electoral processes.

The information environment has significantly changed in recent years, especially due to the advent of social media. Apart from some positive aspects, such as the enhanced possibilities of receiving and sharing information, social media has also enabled the dissemination of misinformation to a wide audience quickly and at low cost. MEMO98 analysed the election campaign of the parliamentary elections held on July 11, 2021 in Moldova on five social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Odnoklassniki, Telegram and YouTube.

Social media data was collected using CrowdTangle (a Facebook-owned social media analysis tool). The number of posts interactions of candidates and individual political parties on Facebook alone was 1.82 million. The number of posts interactions of party chairmen climbed to 1.09 million. Prior to the start of this project, MEMO98 had no experience with using tools for big data processing and analysis. NCC experts helped design a solution for data processing and visualization utilizing the freely available software Gephi [1] in the HPC environment. The output is a so-called network map, an interactive scheme for finding and analysing the dissemination of specific terms and web addresses in the context of the election campaign. As part of the project, NCC also provided access to computing resources for solution testing, as well as individual training so that MEMO98 can work independently with this solution in the HPC environment in the future.

Preliminary results and conclusions of the monitoring are published by MEMO98 on its website [2].

References


[1] Bastian M., Heymann S., Jacomy M. (2009). Gephi: an open source software for exploring and manipulating networks. International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.

[2] Network mapping, Moldova Early Parliamentary Elections July 2021, Monitoring of Social Media – Preliminary Findings. Available here:

https://memo98.sk/article/moldovan-social-media-reflected-a-division-in-society

https://memo98.sk/uploads/content_galleries/source/memo/moldova/2021/preliminary-findings-on-the-monitoring-of-parliamentary-elections-2021-on-social-media.pdf