“How did the Political Forces Use the Online Platforms During the Campaign?”
During the Campaign of the Parliamentary Elections, the majority of the political forces and candidates used actively the social media and online media to deliver their wording.

Laura Baghdasaryan, Director of “Region” Research Center, said this during the press conference on “2017 Parliamentary Elections in the Armenian Online Media and Facebook Platforms: Campaign and Election Day” at Media Center on April 14.

She informed that during the campaign their team studied the Facebook platform and observed seven online platforms (1in.am, News.am, Tert.am, Aravot.am, 168.am, Armlur.am, lragir.am) that have high attendance and did not announce about their political affiliation.  

Baghdasaryan said that the situation is quite interesting especially in social networks. Candidates tried to expand their audience but there were some politicians whose online audience has decreased. “During the campaign, Raffi Hovannisyan's Facebook page almost remained unchanged in terms of the number of likes and followers since the presidential elections of 2013, 33.000 likes. Moreover, the number has decreased by 10 by the end of the campaign. Instead, the number of likes and followers of Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan's Facebook page increased by 11,000, the increase of the number of likes and followers of Nikol Pashinyan’s Facebook Page was a record by 13,000,” Baghdasaryan said.

According to their observations, the speeches of RPA representatives were mainly proportionally presented by online media, except lragir.am. “”Yelq” was covered mostly by 1in.am, Aravot.am, news.am, ORO Alliance received almost equal attention, the same concerns the Tsarukyan Alliance. Traditionally Lragir.am covered less all forces as it focuses on analytical materials. Congress-PPA was mostky covered by Aravot.am, the coverage of "Free Democrats" party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Renaissance Party and the Communist Party was not proportional,” she said.

Due to Laura Baghdasaryan, lragir.am is ahead of all others in terms of medium degree of attendance of each material, armlur.am is on the second place, the third is Aravot.am. She did not present data on News.am tert.am as they do not show their views in the media.

Speaking about the peculiarities of the campaign, the speaker said that the campaign and anti-PR functions were fulfilled by the competing forces. She highlighted that it was the first time during this campaign that paid advertisement appeared in the media and was used mainly by the RPA and ARFD. “One of the social media features of the campaign was the fact that the Facebook campaign was carried out by a team. That is, if there were debates, they were not in a direct contact, for example, by visiting each other’s pages but it was carried out by distance calls,” Baghdasaryan said.  

Laura Baghdasarayan also addressed the scandals on the Republican Party, the published recordings of school principals and Republican candidate Artak Sargsyan (SAS Artak). These two cases are heavily covered in the online media and are discussed in social networks.

To watch the video, follow the link.  

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to arshaluismghdesyan@pjc.am.

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