ProtestBaku was the “official” hashtag of the protests in Baku over the past few months. It has been used by both the opposition and pro-government groups.
Throughout the last few months, the pro-government tweeple have both hijacked the ProtestBaku hashtag and started a few of their own. One such example is #molotovlugenclik (Molotov Cocktail Youth), which I wrote about here.
I’m not a fan of the “impressions” or “top tweet” metrics, but I’d like to look at the networks themselves.
There are two ways to conduct Twitter analysis – one is looking at followers (who follows whom) and the other is to look at replies (and just use of the hashtags).
I’m going to focus this analysis on use of the hashtag.
With protestbaku, there were 471 Twitter accounts that used the phrase, and 529 connections (replies and retweets).
The density (0-1 how interconnected the twitterers are), is 0.001 — so, while it might seem “bad” that the interconnectedness is low, considering that the point of this hashtag is to spread information, low density is a good thing.
The average distance between any two tweeple in the map is 4.09. So you can think about this in this way: for information to go from 1 person to another, it would have to go from X…X…X…X – two people in between to get there.
So, on this second analysis it takes into consideration people that follow each other. This tells you less about the spread of information and more about the relationships between people on Twitter.
However, there were 468 tweeple, with 9925 connections between them. The average distance was 2.25, so very close. Density was .05 – so tighter than the model without followers, but still information flows widely.
The most connected users are:
So there are 3 main groups.
Group 1 is foreigners and anti-government.
Group 2 includes mostly pro-government Twitter users.
Group 3 focuses on diasporan Azerbaijani tweeple like muntezir and JamalAli.
#protestbaku did a very good job of spreading information widely, especially compared to other similar hashtags both in Azerbaijan and in different protests globally.
Despite hijacking efforts, the hashtag was “controlled” by those who use it properly.