Álex Saab: the martyr, according to manipulated trends on Twitterzuela

Álex Saab: the martyr, according to manipulated trends on Twitterzuela

Published on 22 Oct 2021

From: Caracas Chronicles and ProBox Team.           The last two weeks, for example, Alex Saab was a trending topic for at least four days with the hashtags #AlexNosUnióMás, #AlexPresoPolítico, and #AlexEsDiálogo, all promoted by high-ranking chavista political actors. However, they also show more than 55% of inorganic promotion. What’s inorganic promotion? […]

From: Caracas Chronicles and ProBox Team.

 

 

 

 

 

The last two weeks, for example, Alex Saab was a trending topic for at least four days with the hashtags #AlexNosUnióMás, #AlexPresoPolítico, and #AlexEsDiálogo, all promoted by high-ranking chavista political actors. However, they also show more than 55% of inorganic promotion. What’s inorganic promotion? When a hashtag is used by potentially automated or fake accounts.

 

This week, the volume in social media has gone up and Saab has been involved in almost every relevant conversation on Twitter. “Hashtags related to Saab are incredibly repetitive. We see trending hashtags about him every single day,” says Marín.

 

Eight keys to understanding the conversation about Alex Saab on Twitter

 

  1. From January to October 2021, there have been 134 trends about Alex Saab and 3,251,712 tweets.
  2. September was the month when he was mentioned the most on Twitter, so far. The context? The announcement of his extradition and the government’s statement on including him in the Mexico talks.
  3. However, during October, the conversations increased again: trends in defense of “the Venezuelan diplomat.”
  4. During September, 34 hashtags about him made it to the trending topics, all of them driven by radical chavista accounts.
  5. About 53.75% of the accounts that have used hashtags in favor of Saab are potentially automated or fake accounts.
  6. The day after Saab’s extradition, the Communications Ministry used the hashtag #LaVerdadSiempreTriunfa (#TheTruthAlwaysPrevails). It was the first time the ministry got involved in this conversation.
  7. Hashtags used to promote Alex Saab as a hero, Venezuelan diplomat or political prisoner wrongly accused and kidnapped by the U.S. government have been promoted in some countries besides Venezuela: Colombia (two hashtags), Ghana (three hashtags) and Nigeria (three hashtags).
  8. The government has used six different narratives to promote Alex Saab on social media:
  • Victimization: with 105 trending hashtags that lead to 78.71% of the total tweets and promoting a TV show on YouTube.
  • Against authorities in Cape Verde: with 13 hashtags. This narrative has the biggest inorganic interaction of all six narratives.
  • Mexico negotiation: with 10 trending hashtags.
  • Disinformation: A good example is the hashtag #VictoriaProcesalEEUU (#LegalVictoryUSA), with messages about a court in the U.S. that recognized Saab as a Venezuelan diplomat. 15.43% of those messages come from potentially automated accounts.
  • Propaganda: about alleged business made by Saab that will help in the humanitarian emergency.
  • Attacks against journalists: mainly against Roberto Deniz through the hashtag #DenizVendePatria and the investigative outlet Armando.Info, which have investigated Saab’s corruption networks in depth:
  • 27.97% of the violent online attacks against journalists come from potentially automated accounts.
  • 73.63% of the accounts that blame journalists for Saab’s detention usually interact with trends started by El Mazo Dando.

 

The social media campaign demanding the release of Alex Saab from prison and his integration into the Mexico talks isn’t new. Alex Saab is described by the regime as a Venezuelan diplomat who’s been working hard to find some food in the world to satisfy the hunger of millions of Venezuelans. Saab isn’t Venezuelan (he was born in Colombia), and he isn’t a diplomat, even though the regime appointed him as their ambassador to the African Union as a strategy to get him out of jail. Saab is a businessman, if we can use that term to define someone who built a global network of dummy corporations and offshore accounts around the source of his fortune: a privileged relationship with the Maduro regime.

You can read the full article here!

 

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