How the Venezuelan regime dominated Twitter in 2022?

How the Venezuelan regime dominated Twitter in 2022?

Published on 31 Jul 2023

In Venezuela, Twitter wears red.

For years, the socio-political conversation on the social network has been dominated by the Chavista communication apparatus and 2022 was no exception.

In our Annual Report 2022 we reported that the massiveness of chavismo on Twitter continues to be a key data to describe the behavior of the social network in Venezuela. Of the more than 200 million messages accumulated in the tags positioned as a trend during the year, only 15 million belong to a sector different from the ruling party.

The numbers of tweet manipulation

In ProBox we found that in 2022 1,242 socio-political tags were positioned as trending on Twitter in Venezuela with around 200,589,106 tweets; however, not all of these tweets were generated by real users nor did they have truthful content that spoke about the social and political dynamics that were experienced in the country during the year.

Regarding the production capacity of tweets, the panorama is much more alarming: 92.44% belong to the Officialism, that is to say, more than 185 million messages are linked to hashtags promoted by the Venezuelan State; while the rest of the actors together generated only 7.56% of the conversation in 2022.

Chavismo: expert in hiding reality on Twitter

The overwhelming numerical superiority of the ruling party is worrying, especially considering that the narratives that differ from the state positioned only 256 trends that, together, add up to a little more than 15 million tweets.

The constant production of trends and the massiveness of messages from the ruling party, added to the decrease in the participation of other actors in the digital ecosystem, makes it difficult to position topics that go hand in hand with the situation of the country reported by independent media and citizens through protests.

For the Executive Director of ProBox, Mariví Marín, manipulation on Twitter should be denounced because “the international community bases many of its decisions about countries on what is said on social networks”.

The MIPPCI: the engine of chavismo on Twitter

Chavismo not only continues to manipulate Twitter, but also has an operational arm that directs most of the strategy: the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information (MIPPCI).

For the fourth consecutive year, the MIPPCI was the main actor in the national conversation. 83.3% of the tweets in 2022 came from tags driven by this State entity and on average at least 80% of this conversation was manipulated.

“When we talk about more than 80% of the socio-political conversation in networks coming from MIPPCI tags we must specify that it is not that from this account all the content was created, but that it was driven. A group of coordinated users known as Tuiteros de la Patria (Tweeters of the Homeland) promote daily the tags defined by the Ministry of Communication and Information to achieve this wave of propaganda and supposed massive support, which is really inorganic”, assures the general director of ProBox, Estefanía Da Silva.

What did MIPPCI talk about in 2022?

At ProBox we identified more than 40 different topics in the 444 trends driven by this actor; however, there are five narratives that stand out as the main ones throughout the year for their repetition in the conversation:

  • Propaganda about the Revolution: 72 MIPPCI trends were dedicated to generating propaganda about the “Bolivarian Revolution”, its ideals and “the greatness of the homeland”. They totaled around 27,352,712 tweets.
  • National Holidays: 46 trends talked about national anniversaries, totaling approximately 11,658,174 messages.
  • National production: 34 trends were dedicated to promoting national production, agriculture and the nation’s “productive growth”. These tags accumulated 11,235,630 tweets approximately.
  • COVID-19 vaccination: 24 trends advertised vaccination against the disease, grouping at least 7,319,355 messages.
  • Christmas and New Year: despite being the fifth most repeated narrative of the year with 21 trends, it is the second with the highest number of messages with 13,220,948 tweets approximately.

Given the reality of the socio-political manipulation of Chavism in networks, society must be alert to what is happening and be clear that in networks not everything massive is real.

Remember that you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok as @ProBoxVE, to find more information on these issues.

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