Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Social Networks Show Political Ambivalence Ahead of Philippine Elections

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, February 25 2013

Rappler.com's SNA graph of election season Twitter use.

Filipinos will be heading to the polls for midterm elections in May, with senators and representatives from districts around the country set to be selected for the Sixteenth Congress of the Philippines.  Yet even as the two major political parties campaign for rule of the legislature, it turns out that their base supporters may not be that different – raising questions of the strength of the party system. 

Rappler.com, a social news site from the Philippines, reported this weekend on their social network analyses of election chatter.  Rappler’s SNA was based on data from shares, tweets, and mentions from the networks around the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), headed by current Vice President Jejomar Binay, and TeamPNoy, the liberal coalition under current President Benigno Aquino III. 

During election season, one might expect Twitter discourse to be heavily partisan.  Yet Rappler found that Twitter users voicing support for either party are rallying around the same key users online, and coming from the same communities. Whereas in US elections, different political bases might range widely on the ideological spectrum – as well as engage with vastly different news sources – in the Philippines, other than their respective allegiances, these bases seem to have a lot in common.

The weak nature of the parties may be a reflection of the country’s personality-driven politics; one politician interviewed by Rappler pointed out that, especially in a midterm year, an election is treated “as a referendum of the president.”

In addition, Rappler found that their own general hashtag for election discourse, #PHVote, has seen significantly more mentions that either #TeamPNoy or #UNAsaCEBU, the hashtags chosen by the competing parties. 

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network for its generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Stalking

How the DEA tracks millions of America motorists; will the Senate enter the 21st century?; Obama veteran Jeremy Bird's role in the upcoming Israeli election; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Moneyballed

The Gates Foundation's new "global citizens" email database, and why it's a terrible idea; why young people like the NSA more than older people; using open data about NYC taxi drivers to ID Muslims; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Monkeying

Net neutrality proponents call foul on the GOP's plans; StandUnited.com seeks to be the right's Change.org; tons of civic tech news from mySociety, Chicago and Civic Hall in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Punch List

Obama's State of the Union and the Internet; how HealthCare.gov shares personal data with third-parties; Facebook says it will give users tools to tag false or hoax content in their News Feeds; and much, much more. GO

More