Egyptian skepticism of elections integrity high, social media research indicates 78% of social media users believe elections were rigged
DUBAI, UAE (MAY 28, 2012) – A thorough analysis of social media conversations in Egypt indicates the Egyptian social media users are highly skeptical of the integrity of the country’s recent presidential elections. Last week, before voting began in Egypt, SocialEyez released a report indicating Morsy would come out as the leading candidate. The report was based on analysis of thousands of social media conversations.
Social media monitoring and analysis conducted by SocialEyez over May 26-27 showed that, of users commenting on emerging allegations of elections fraud, around 80% believe the accusations to be true. Of these, 20% said that the authorities supervising the election, namely the Higher Presidential Elections Commission, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and the Ministry of Interior conspired to rig the outcome of Egypt’s first post-revolution presidential elections by allowing ineligible voters to cast a ballot in last week’s elections. This figure is derived from a manual analysis of a sample of roughly 5,000 captured comments. SocialEyez captured comments using statistically sound sampling techniques from across multiple social media networks including Facebook, twitter and Masrawy over the past 24 hours.
The allegations emerged on Saturday when a junior police officer lodged a formal complaint with the Public Prosecutor alleging that 900,000 national identity cards had been issued by a group of police officers to constables and Central Security Forces personnel – who are prohibited by law from voting. The officer claimed that the job title category of the cards had been falsified in order to allow security personnel to vote. Since then, Essam El-Eslambouly, the lawyer of socialist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, who ranked third in the presidential elections, has claimed to be in possession of evidence that as many as 117,000 conscripts received ballots.
Belief that fraudulent ballots had been cast was highest on Twitter (95%), the social networking site Facebook (95%) and Egyptian forums (80%). Twitter and Facebook are the online home of Egypt’s revolutionary opposition and the Egyptian intelligentsia. However, skepticism was also prevalent across news websites (65%), where the influence of the fallen Mubarak regime remains strong and its supporters remain active. Examples of typical comments posted across social networks include: “The military wants to only hand power to a military man. Please get it.”
Egyptian media reported on Sunday, May 27, morning that the HPEC had excluded 117,727 registered electors, determined to be deceased, from the lists of eligible voters two days before the elections, but has yet to comment on the accusations that 117,000 conscripts voted and that 900,000 ID cards had been issued to facilitate voting among non-eligible voters. An analysis of data collected from social media indicates that Egypt’s turbulence is likely to deepen: demands for more “revolutionary action” permeated the social media, including a return to street protests and demonstrations and a “purging” of state institutions.
Findings above are based on daily research, monitoring and analysis conducted by SocialEyez, News Group’s social media monitoring and analysis subsidiary. SocialEyez has been tracking Egyptian attitudes expressed on social media towards emergent presidential candidates since January 2011.
News Group Chief Operating Officer Fadl Al Tarzi described today’s findings as “given there are approximately 12 million social media users vs 51 million eligible voters in Egypt, social media is definitely one important indicator of where Egyptian public opinion stands” on the outcome of last week’s vote. Tarzi said that the “unfiltered, unprompted and unscripted” dialogue across social media can be a valuable addition to rounding out assessments of public opinion extracted through the more conventional channels of public opinion polling and traditional media analysis. “If we were to incorporate all three elements in today’s analysis, we can easily speculate that the Egyptian elections would still face a problem of credibility that will have to be addressed,” he said.
SocialEyez is the region’s largest social media research and analysis agency covering Arabic social media. Its political and commercial units offer services to private sector commercial entities, governments, public sector institutions, non-governmental organizations, academic organizations and think tanks. SocialEyez has become the go-to source for some of the world’s most prestigious consulting firms and international businesses seeking interpretations of political security, stability and risk in the Middle East.
About News Group
News Group, a leading media intelligence group, was founded in 2002. The company and its subsidiaries specialize in the sourcing, distribution, creation, monitoring and analysis of news content in the emerging markets of the Middle East, Africa and the Indian sub-continent. The group includes seven subsidiaries that employ over 300 people. News Group is based in Dubai and operates in 30 countries across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, primarily through its subsidiaries.
News Group subsidiaries include the region’s largest media monitoring firm, Media Watch Middle East, used by over 100 of the global Fortune 500 companies. News Group advocates integrated media research as most accurate and comprehensive indicator of public opinion, this approach involves traditional + social media analysis + public opinion research.
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