SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Social Media Reaction to SKeyes’ Violation Monitoring: Dima Sadek's Case

Wednesday , 15 June 2022

Case Study No.2: The Bullying Campaign Against Journalist Dima Sadek Targeting Her Daughter

 

As mentioned in the first case study, the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) will be selecting one case of violations against freedom of expression in Lebanon on a monthly basis and analyzing the reaction garnered on its own social media accounts. The aim is to understand the perception of our own social media audience to our reporting and assess the general level of support to freedom of expression in Lebanon.

 

In April 2022, SKF chose the case of journalist Dima Sadek being subject to a hate speech and bullying campaign that targeted her daughter. In particular, the people who participated in the campaign mocked her daughter’s disability to spew their hate on the journalist. The story was published on the Facebook account of SKF’s SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom on April 28. Below are the results:

 

Out of the 250 analyzed accounts, 48.8% (112) were against the journalist victim of violation, 33.6% (87) were supportive of the journalist victim of violation, 11.2% (28) were neutral, and 1% (3) did not display any position.


Out of the 250 analyzed accounts, 70.4% (176) added comments that did not contain hate speech, and 21% (54) added comments that contained hate speech.



Out of the 250 analyzed accounts, 4.4% (11) showed affiliation with Hezbollah, 8% (20) people with the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), 1.6% (4) with the Lebanese Forces, 0.8% (2) with the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP), 0.4% (1) with the Amal Movement, 0.4% (1) with the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and 76.4% (191) did not exhibit any visible political affiliation.


Out of the Hezbollah leaning accounts, 10 people were against the journalist victim of violation while one account was neutral. Meanwhile, out of the FPM leaning accounts, all 20 people were against the journalist victim of the violation. All four of the Lebanese Forces accounts were supporting Dima Sadek. Out of the LCP leaning accounts, one person was supportive of the journalist victim of violation while one person was neutral. The only Amal Movement leaning account was against the journalist. Likewise, the only SSNP leaning account was against the journalist.





While the number of comments came almost equally from male and female accounts (126 and 124 respectively), the level of hate directed at Sadek was also equal in comments posted by male Facebook users and female ones (27 comments each).



This report was made possible through support from the UN Democracy Fund.


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