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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Social Media Reaction to SKeyes’ Violation Monitoring: Yvana El Khoury’s Case

Friday , 17 June 2022
Design: Mahmoud Younis

Case Study No.3: The Bullying and Hate Speech Campaign Against Journalist Yvana El Khoury Due to a Facebook Post


As mentioned in the first and second case studies, 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 May 2022, SKF chose the case of journalist Yvana El Khoury being subject to a hate speech and bullying campaign due to a Facebook post that she published on May 15, 2022. In the post, El Khoury criticized Hezbollah members who assaulted Megaphone photographer Hussein Bassal in Ansar, South Lebanon, on the day of Lebanon’s parliamentary election. The story was published on the Facebook account of SKF’s SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom on May 18. Below are the results:


Out of the 54 analyzed accounts, 50% (27) were supportive of the journalist victim of violation, 33% (18) were against the journalist victim of violation, 17% (9) were neutral.

Out of the 54 analyzed accounts, 42% (12) published comments that did not contain hate speech, and 12% (42) published comments that contained hate speech.

Out of the 54 analyzed accounts, 5.55% (3) showed affiliation with Hezbollah, 1.85% (1) person showed affiliation with the Future Movement, 1.85% (1) with the Lebanese Forces, 3.7% (2) with the Amal Movement, 1.85% (1) with the Nasserist Popular Organization, and 85.18% (46) did not exhibit any visible political affiliation.

The three Hezbollah leaning accounts were against the journalist victim of violation. Similarly, the Amal Movement leaning accounts were against Yvana El Khoury. The only Lebanese Forces leaning account was supportive of the journalist. Likewise, the only Future Movement leaning account and the only Nasserist Popular Organization were supportive of El Khoury.

More comments came from male users than female ones (36 and 18 respectively). However, the ratio of comments containing hate speech was equal for both males and females (half in both).

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

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