Ortega’s Tweeting Troops so far in 2023

Ortega’s Tweeting Troops so far in 2023

Published on 26 Sep 2023

Nicaragua Semi-Annual Report (January-June 2023)

In ProBox we registered 135 hashtags positioned in X (formerly Twitter) as trending in Nicaragua, totaling approximately 17,113,682 tweets; however, only 112 of the semester’s trends and approximately 289,278 tweets pertain to Nicaragua directly.


99 trending topics are linked to the Ortega-Murillo regime, specifically with users coordinated among themselves inauthentically (Sandinista troops), no government entity or member of the cabinet of state participated in the Nicaraguan digital conversation.


Despite this, 94.7% of the tweets registered were generated by hashtags promoted from Venezuela, being the most important category at the level of messages in the Nicaraguan socio-political conversation.


How did the conversation evolve?


While Ortega’s regime sympathizers positioned the highest number of trends between January and June 2023 with 99 and citizens managed to position 13 hashtags, messages pertaining directly to Nicaragua only generated 1.7% of the tweets of the semester, occupying the third place in the conversation being surpassed by Venezuela and Cuba.


Just as in Cuba’s Semi-Annual report, in Nicaragua we could also observe how support for the Venezuelan regime’s narratives managed to have a presence in the country thanks to the impulse of 18 trends and more than 16 million tweets; being once again the Ministry of Communication and Information of Venezuela (MIPPCI) the main actor in the hashtags that managed to trend in both countries at the same time.


Ortega’s twitter troops promoted trends on 18 topics, with propaganda to the Sandinista revolution and the country’s ephemeris being the most relevant. These two narratives tend to be very common in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua as they are one of the main ways for the State to generate empty propaganda that dominates and contaminates the conversation over other relevant topics in these countries.


Demands for freedom in the midst of censorship


At least 13 trends were driven by Nicaraguan citizens and activists between January and June 2023, totaling around 21,513 tweets Demands for freedom for political prisoners in the country were the main reason for citizen protest with 8 that generated 47.8% of the total tweets of digital activism, especially after the banishment of more than 200 detainees to the United States.


Likewise, the anniversary of the 2018 protests was also present in the citizen protest with 4 trends grouping most of the messages with 48.8%; mainly demanding justice for what happened and asking for freedom for the country.


#SOSNicaragua was the most repeated trend by positioning 8 times between January and June 2023, totaling at least 12,563 messages.


What didn’t the regime talk about?


Troops of users coordinated in favor of the Ortega regime dominate the conversation over the citizen voice with propaganda about a Nicaragua that is very distant for those who live in it. At ProBox we conducted research to help better understand the reality of the country during the first half of the year, starting with the Special Law on Cybercrimes, which has become a manual for digital censorship exported from Nicaragua.


Holy Week was another issue manipulated by the State in the Central American country, since Ortega banned its celebration, marking even more his persecution against the church but, despite this, trends from Venezuela were positioned in the country promoting the Catholic celebration.


These investigations remind, among other things, that on social media not everything massive is real.


For more information on socio-political manipulation on social media, you can follow us everywhere at @ProBoxVE.

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