Fill in your email address to obtain the download verification code.
Enter the verification code
SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Social Media Reaction to SKeyes’ Violation Monitoring: Aggregate Report 2022

Wednesday , 19 April 2023
Photo credit: Hussam Chebaro/Anadolu

Starting from March 2022, the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) has been carrying out monthly social media monitoring to track reactions on social media related to cases that violate freedom of the press and culture in Lebanon. The foundation chooses one case each month and analyzes the reactions generated on its social media accounts. Nine cases have been selected to date, including legal action taken against journalist Mohammad Nimr, a bullying campaign targeting journalist Dima Sadek’s daughter, and hate speech directed at journalist Yvana El Khoury following a Facebook post. Other cases include the conviction and fining of Shaden Fakih by the military court due to an Instagram video, the detention of journalist Nawal Nasr at Qamishli Airport by Syrian security services, and the targeting of photographer Hasan Chaaban with an explosive device in South Lebanon. In addition, the Foundation has analyzed the attack on MTV studio by supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement after a prime-time talk show, the recent attack on Al Jadeed following a wave of misleading news and incitement, and the reactions to its report on violations against freedom of the press in Lebanon perpetrated during former President Michel Aoun’s term.

To identify recurrent patterns and similarities, the Foundation aggregated the findings from these cases, resulting in a total of 1,451 comments. This report aims to provide a deeper understanding of people’s reaction to violations against freedom of the press and culture in Lebanon by presenting these findings in a comprehensible way, using a framework that investigates the position of the engaged audience members towards the victim of the violation, the presence of hate speech in their comments, their visible political affiliation, and a gender perspective, when available.

Regarding the nine cases under consideration, on average, 70% (1,016) of the monitored accounts posted content that was against the victims of violation. These accounts represented the largest portion. However, a notable 22.5% (327) of the users were supportive of the victims. This percentage is important because it shows a polarity in Lebanese society when it comes to issues related to free expression. Moreover, a small but not insignificant 7.44% (108) of the comments did not display any distinct position towards the journalists and media personnel who were victims of violations. These users simply commented on something unrelated to the violation or discussed the issue in general without taking the violated individuals into account.

Fig.1 - Position Towards The Victim of the Violation


Regarding the posting of content that contained hate speech, only 25.36% (368) out of the 1,451 analyzed accounts displayed such behavior. The majority of the accounts, 74.63% (1,083), did not post hate speech. Therefore, being against the victim of violation did not necessarily imply using hate speech.

Fig.2 - Use of Hate Speech


In terms of visible political affiliations, the highest number of comments from those with observable political affiliations came from Hezbollah supporters, representing 40.4% (139). The Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) supporters came in a close second place, accounting for 39.24% (135) of the total accounts with observable political affiliations. Accounts associated with the Amal Movement garnered 9.59% (33), followed by Lebanese Forces (LF) supporters, making up 5.83% (20) of the accounts with visible political affiliation. On the lower end of the scale were the Future Movement (FM) with 2% (7), the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) (5), and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) (4) accounting for almost 1% of the accounts with visible affiliation. Finally, the Popular Nasserist Organization (PNO) had only one engaging user. While the number of politically affiliated users was noteworthy, 76.36% (1,108) of the users did not exhibit any political affiliation.

Fig.3 - Commenters’ Visible Political Affiliation


Nearly all of the accounts associated with Hezbollah, Amal Movement, and FPM posted comments that were against the victims of violation. Of those accounts, 61 of the FPM-leaning accounts (45.1%) posted comments containing hate speech, while 55 of the Hezbollah-affiliated accounts (39.5%) and 33 of the Amal Movement-associated accounts (45.45%) contained hate speech. Only one out of the four accounts associated with SSNP contained hate speech against the victim of violation. In contrast, all accounts associated with LF, FM, and PNO had comments that were either supportive of the victim or neutral, with no instances of hate speech. For the LCP-affiliated accounts, two were against the victim, one was neutral, and the remaining two were supportive.

In terms of visible gender, male users accounted for 58.64% (851) of the 1,451 comments, with 238 of these comments (27.9%) containing hate speech. Female users posted 40.73% (591) of the comments, with 128 of these comments (21.65%) containing hate speech. Only nine accounts did not display a clear gender identity, and two of these accounts posted comments containing hate speech.

Fig.4 - Commenters’ Visible Gender


Key Findings

The findings indicate a worrisome trend of polarization in Lebanese society regarding issues related to freedom of press and culture. The fact that a significant percentage of social media users are against the victims of violations, and a substantial minority of users with clear political affiliations use hate speech to express their views, underscores the urgent need for action to safeguard the rights of journalists and media personnel in Lebanon.

Moreover, the results suggest that political affiliation plays a significant role in shaping attitudes towards violations of freedom of press and culture. The fact that supporters of certain political movements are more likely to post content that is against the victims of violations, and that some of these posts contain hate speech, is alarming. It highlights the need for political leaders and parties to take responsibility for their supporters’ actions and to take a clear stance in support of freedom of expression and a free press.

Finally, the findings also reveal that gender is an important factor in shaping attitudes towards violations of freedom of press and culture. While the majority of social media users who posted comments were male, a higher percentage of female users posted comments that were not problematic. This highlights the need for greater gender sensitivity in discussions around freedom of expression and a free press.

In sum, the Samir Kassir Foundation’s monthly social media monitoring provides valuable insights into the attitudes towards freedom of press and culture in Lebanon. By identifying patterns and similarities in the reactions of social media users to cases of violations, this report sheds light on the urgent need for action to protect the rights of journalists and media personnel in Lebanon. The Foundation hopes that this report serves as a wake-up call to all stakeholders to take concrete steps towards creating an environment where freedom of expression and a free press are respected and protected.

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

Share News

canlı sex sohbet - sohbet hattı numaraları - sex hattı - sohbet numara - canlı sohbet hatları - sex hattı - bonus veren siteler casino siteleri