The Nicaraguan Regime and the use of Tweeting Troops

The Nicaraguan Regime and the use of Tweeting Troops

Published on 14 Sep 2023

Nicaragua 2022 Annual Report

In 2021 we included in our monitoring the analysis of the socio-political conversation in the trends positioned on Twitter in Nicaragua, due to the possible manipulation of the conversation by the State and its possible impact on the public agenda.

In 2022, 192 socio-political trends were positioned on Twitter in Nicaragua with about 29,089,168 tweets; 126 belong directly to Nicaraguan sectors, followed by 40 trends coming from Venezuela, 21 from Cuba and 5 from other actors.

When studying socio-political trends in Nicaragua coming from internal actors, we identified two main subcategories: the regime and social protest.

The Ortega-Murillo regime managed to position 95 trends and 600,158 tweets approximately, while citizens positioned 31 protest trends that accumulated around 65,597 tweets.

That is to say, 90.1% of the messages of the year positioned directly in Nicaragua come from the regime.

Coordinated users in favor of the regime dominated the conversation

In Nicaragua, government entities or state officials do not drive trends, coordinated user troops do; that is, groups of real people coordinated among themselves to push narratives, mainly promoted by the state, to contaminate the conversation on Twitter and simulate support for the regime.

We identified at least 17 themes in the trends promoted by these user troops, with propaganda for the “Sandinista Revolution,” Ortega’s administration, and Christmas and New Year’s celebrations being the three main themes.

These accounts not only promoted trends in favor of Ortega-Murillo, but also supported the dissemination and positioning of Cuban and Venezuelan trends.

In 2022 we managed to identify at least 30 trends that were positioned at the same time in Venezuela and Nicaragua that totaled 15,493,623 tweets approximately. 29 of these 30 trends belong to Venezuela, while the remaining tag talks about the presidential elections in Colombia.

Likewise, we identified 15 hashtags positioned simultaneously in Cuba and Nicaragua, which accumulated 926,677 tweets approximately. 8 of these 15 trends belong to Nicaragua, while the remaining 6 are from Cuba.

#SOSNicaragua as a banner for citizen protest

Of the 192 socio-political trends in Nicaragua in the year, 31 were promoted by civil society as protest, accumulating at least 65,597 tweets.

#SOSNicaragua was positioned 14 times throughout the year accumulating altogether almost 34,000 messages. This was the most repeated trend throughout the year in the country.

Although the activity of the regime exceeded and overshadowed the Nicaraguan protest in networks, the citizen organization was present to demand freedom for political prisoners, the persecution of NGOs, universities and the Church and to make visible the injustices that remain due to the protests of 2018.

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

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