Facebook users in April and July 2015 in Azerbaijan, according to Facebook

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I’ve written some blog posts in the past about using Facebook’s ad data to tell us how many people use Facebook in a particular location, comparing it with World Bank population data.

Here’s an update. I collected this information on April 3, 2015 and July 16, 2015.

In April, there were 1,600,000 Facebook users in Azerbaijan and in July, Facebook says, there were 1,500,000. That’s about 16% of the total population of Azerbaijan.

Gender differences abound. In both April and July, Facebook says that there are about 1,000,000 male Facebook users, which is about 28% of the total Azerbaijani male population. In both April and July, Facebook says that there are 520,000 Azerbaijani women on the site, about 11% of the total female Azerbaijani population. That means there are nearly 2 men on Facebook for every 1 woman (1.92 to be exact). 67% of Azerbaijani Facebook users are men, 35% are women.

When we look specifically at young people, gender imbalance is similar, although more young women are on the site certainly than older women. Of the 280,000 (or 290,000 in April) Azerbaijani Facebook users ages 13-18, 180,000 are male and 94,000 are female, so that means there are 1.9 boys for everyone 1 girl in the teenage age ranges. We don’t have population data on this age grouping, so it is hard to compare to the total population.

However, we do have population data on 15-24 year olds. Facebook says there are 780,000 Azerbaijani Facebook users ages 15-24 as of July (810,000 in April though), which is 48% of the Azerbaijani population of that age. So almost half of all Azerbaijani youth are on the site. (For comparison though, 80% of Armenian and over 116% (double profiles surely) of Georgian 15-24 year olds are on the site, so that’s a huge difference.)

But of those 15-24 year old Azerbaijanis on Facebook, we again see gender differences. 62% of the male population of that age are on the site and 33% of the female population are, a perfect 2:1 ratio of males:females.

We do not see these gender differences at any age level in Armenia and Georgia. Georgia is always even and Armenia is fairly close to perfectly split.

Please feel free to ask any questions and I can also play around with data on request. There is so much demographic information to mine.

I’ll update with Armenia and Georgia in the coming days.

Qualities in a child update

I did an analysis a few years ago based on 2007 data on desirable qualities in children. The World Values Survey had a similar question, so here are the newer results. For what it is worth, I doubt that the translations are equivalent. So it is quite likely that a word for “thrift” or “obedience” that had a negative connotation was used.

This is the percent of respondents that said, yes that is an important quality in a child.

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IDPs and religiosity

ISIS/L is on everyone’s minds nowadays. Some people are concerned that IDPs in Azerbaijan are especially vulnerable to ISIS recruiting because of their marginalized position in society. (I did a blog post on attitudes toward IDPs in Azerbaijan in 2013.)

Some colleagues asked if there was any evidence that Azerbaijani IDPs are more likely to be Sunni or Shia and how religious they are. I took to the 2011 Caucasus Barometer (the most recent that asked about IDP status) and looked at IDPs versus non-IDPs and religion.

I should mention here that measuring religiosity is incredibly difficult and especially so in post-Soviet societies where there is a complicated historical blip, so to speak. With religion being suppressed during the Soviet period, certainly some religious actions were lost. As such, one needs to look at a variety of measures of religiosity. Robia Charles has some great work on this here and here.

Respondents were asked to name their religion.

This is for official IDP status. Note that most respondents named “Islam” not Sunni and Shia Islam as their religion. Also there are slightly more respondents saying Shia within the IDP population than the non-IDP population. 6% isn’t a huge different though. And, importantly, no IDPs (in this sample) said Sunni Islam. This isn’t surprising given that IDP regions are traditionally Shiite anyway.

namedreligion

I looked at other measures of religiosity including self-report, frequencies of fasting, attendance of religious services, importance of religion in life and differences between IDPs and non-IDPs, and then Sunni/Shia/Islam IDPs and non-IDPs were quite insignificant. There were small thinks like IDPs are less likely to fast, but hey, IDPs also might have greater hunger problems, right?

This is by no means a sample of the entire IDP population and I’m certain that there is great variance among IDPs. But this analysis shows that IDPs being more likely to be Sunni is erroneous at least.

January 2015 Facebook use in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – according to Facebook

This is an update to this post from January and this post from March and this post from September.

It is hard to know how many people in a country are using Facebook, but through Facebook’s Ad selling program, you can get some rounded information. The numbers they give are not exact, so these percentages displayed below are not accurate for the true number of users. THESE RESULTS MAY NOT ADD UP TO REASONABLE 100%S. I calculated everything from the actual population. So when it says 36% of Georgian women are X, I calculated from the population data from the World Bank. This isn’t SOLID information, but it does come FROM Facebook, so it is a little bit better than SocialBakers.

This is what it looks like to find out this information:

facebook

So, Armenia has 2,974,184 people, Azerbaijan 9,590,159 people, and Georgia 4,555,911 people total according to the World Bank and after I subtracted those age 0-14 (World Bank’s category, not mine) the populations are Armenia: 2,460,436; Azerbaijan: 7,419,487; Georgia: 3,855,233.

Facebook Ads says that this many people in each of those countries is a potential viewer of their ads (thus a Facebook user): Armenia: 580,000 (in January) 620,000 (in March) 680,000 (in September) 740,000 (in January 2015) ; Azerbaijan: 1,320,000 (in January) 1,380,000 (in March) 1,460,000 (in September) 1,460,000 (in January 2015); Georgia: 1,220,000 (in January) 1,280,000 (in March) 1,380,000 (in September) 1,500,000 (in January 2015).

Thus, here are the percentages of the age 14+ populations of each country who are on Facebook:

a(January)a2

14plussept

january20`5total

Armenia: 30%
Azerbaijan: 20%
Georgia: 40%

So that is interesting, but let us look at gender differences (I took the direct gender population data from the age distribution tables – this is not 50/50, but more accurate).

And let’s look at this over a year.

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Lots of growth in Armenia and Georgia and some in Azerbaijan.

 

b(January)b2

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Armenians and Georgians are evenly distributed gender-wise on Facebook. And Azerbaijanis, well, this gender difference is shown in a lot of other research.

c(January)c2

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In terms of the balance of users, Armenians are fairly even, Georgians have a bit more women and you can see that about 2/3rds of Azerbaijanis on Facebook are men. Although this may seem shocking, this is much better than it has been in previous years.

d(January) EDIT: THIS SHOULD BE 15-24 YEAR OLDS!

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distrosepy

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Wow Georgia! Most Georgian young adults are on Facebook, no doubt about that. About 60% of Armenian young adults and for Azerbaijan 60% of male young adults and a little less than a third of female young adults.

For comparison, here’s Caucasus Barometer derived information from 2012 and 2013.

I added a new measurement this quarter – looking at language use. I assume that Facebook is deriving this information from the language that a user chooses as their main Facebook language – not what they’re typing in. Although, I’m not sure about this. Facebook gathers a lot of data about its users and it could autodetect the language that the person uses. Also, I have no idea if these contain multiple languages. There could easily be users that use two languages equally. And also certainly this doesn’t detect transliterated languages.

But, not all language choices are available in the Facebook ad system. I’m sure lots of people use Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian for their Facebook platform.

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This makes sense to me, but what’s going on in Georgia? I assume that this empty space is Georgian.

I wish that I knew more about how they calculate this, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Memeriffic! Having Fun With The Baku 2015 Mascots

This week the mascots for the 2015 Baku European Games were released. And they’re so cute!
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Jeyran (deer) is a female deer/gazelle (despite having antlers – only male deer have antlers) and Nar (pomegranate) is a boy with a pomegranate for a head (?).
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Maybe Nar is a girl? The eyelashes seem feminine.

Social media users did not disappoint! These mascots were quickly made into memes! There have been so many of them that I can’t keep track of all of them. But here are some of the best.

(Many of these are via a post on Minval.az)

jeyran

Jeyran presents dolma!

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(Original)

Jeyran as Conchita West.

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(Original)

Nar versus Bruce Lee.
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Here’s Nar playing kamancha (and a subtle other play on words).

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(Original)

Jeyran and Nar are celebrities!

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(Original)

Jeyran is being picked up.

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Nar in a police lineup.

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(Original)

And getting a little inappropriate.

But some were more explicitly political…

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(Original)

“Woman, behave yourself!” (Thanks to a Twitter friend for a better translation.)

10491967_10205362803889359_5396051922253477446_n(Original)

Here’s Jeyran and Nar detaining Popular Front member Asif Yusifli, who was kidnapped earlier this week.

 

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And there was an entire series featuring the N!DA members, currently in prison.

Hashtag Shenanigans Again – Karabakh Edition, #azesaboteurs and #saveazehostages

It has been awhile since there has been hashtag shenanigans in the Caucasus. Some of the major hashtag shenanigans players fell out of favor. But this week things heated up again. I started seeing random odd tweets from accounts and upon clicking through it seemed like they were likely fake accounts – brand new, stock photos for the profile picture, few followers. These were usually in response to any criticism of Azerbaijan, but often with regard to Nagorno Karabakh.

This week the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan are meeting with French president François Hollande and last week the German Foreign Minister visited both countries. (John Kerry met with with last month, Putin in late summer, etc. etc.)

But perhaps of greater interest is that this week the authorities in Nagorno Karabakh put two Azerbaijani citizens on trial after they were caught crossing the border (a third was killed). The men say that they were going to visit relatives’ graves. The NK authorities say that the men killed a military officer. Azerbaijani authorities also note that NK has no right to hold a trial because it isn’t a recognized state.  RFERL story ArmeniaNow story Armenian RFERL

The other day I noticed a Twitter hashtag and Facebook group (with 8000+ “attending”) being promoted by the Azerbaijani ruling party’s youth wing. These sort of rallying around the flag issues are always interesting to me and I was a little surprised to see a lot of my oppositionally-minded Facebook and Twitter friends following this hashtag: #SaveAzeHostages. There was even a photo hashtag meme thing happening.

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Meanwhile, Armenians created their own hashtag: #AzeSaboteurs.

This quickly turned into a hashtag battle.

It appears as if there are some fake accounts of some sort. For example, look at all these duplicate tweets (red/pink = duplicate).

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Users zuma885, oqtay88, raminka10, and maxelmira, for example, have a lot of repeated tweets. And let us look at when these four joined Twitter! (Plus they use stock photos.)

These users showed up in both #SaveAzeHostages and #AzeSaboteurs.

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Here’s the network analysis for #Azesaboteurs. It seems like Azerbaijanis may have “taken it over” but not to the extent that we saw in previous hashtags like #armvote13.

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But look at #saveazehostages – what an interesting network analysis!

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That center is the official Twitter account of the ruling party’s youth wing. Another power player is msabina34 who seems to be most interesting in One Direction. She tweeted on this hashtag over 100 times in one hour! There are also a number of other fake accounts on this hashtag.

It isn’t too hard to buy fake twitter accounts, but I wonder if this is a worthwhile investment? It is so obvious. I guess that the person in charge of this (likely someone at that youth wing) wants to show that s/he is a really dedicated member?

As a side note:

But this went beyond hashtag shenanigans and turned into a DDoS war. Here’s a report on what Azerbaijani websites Armenians took down. I don’t have any reports from Azerbaijanis.

Caucasian attitudes toward joining international organizations

There is so much discussion about Armenia’s possible membership in the Eurasian Economic Union. Today I was in the 2013 Caucasus Barometer for other reasons and noticed that the EEU came up in a question. I’ve also posted the results for EU and NATO.

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I’m a little annoyed that EEU wasn’t asked about in Azerbaijan. This is sort of a proxy question for attitude toward Russia.

Do Sanctions Work Against Authoritarian Regimes?

Recently former Ambassador Richard Kauzlarich and Freedom House head David J. Kramer published an article calling for sanctions against Azerbaijan. And while I agree that more drastic and creative measures must be taken, I am not sure that experience shows that sanctions are an effective tool against an authoritarian regime.

Now, you may wonder if I have a better idea. I don’t. But I do know that “annoying” the regime in Azerbaijan does not seem to “help” any citizens. And I know how to review literature. So here it is. I am by no means an expert on this topic, but in my review of the literature, this is what I’ve found. If you don’t have access to these articles and want it, please let me know.

This is a great summary of the work on targeted sanctions, by the way.

YES, THEY WORK!

“Because personalist regimes and monarchies are more sensitive to the loss of external sources of revenue (such as foreign aid and taxes on trade) to fund patronage, rulers in these regimes are more likely to be destabilized by [economic] sanctions than leaders in other types of regimes. In contrast, when dominant single-party and military regimes are subject to sanctions, they increase their tax revenues and reallocate their expenditures to increase their levels of cooptation and repression.” [Article]

I’d probably argue that Azerbaijan is more personalist (with an emphasis on patronage) than single-party/military, so there’s a point in favor of sanctions.

I couldn’t find any other articles that said that sanctions work.

NO, THEY DON’T

““With very few exceptions and under highly unusual sets of circumstances, economic sanctions have historically proven to be an ineffective means to achieve foreign-policy objectives.” [Article]

Oh. Crap.

“Single-party regimes, when targeted by sanctions, increase spending on subsidies and transfers which largely benefit their key constituencies. Likewise, military regimes increase their expenditures on goods and services, which include military equipment and soldiers’ and officers’ wages. Conversely, personalist regimes targeted by sanctions reduce spending in all categories and thus increase repression more than other autocracies.” [Article]

Increase repression? Oh no! This isn’t looking good.

“We argue that economic sanctions worsen the level of democracy because the economic hardship caused by sanctions can be used as a strategic tool by the targeted regime to consolidate authoritarian rule and weaken the opposition.” [Article]

This is possible in Azerbaijan.

“Most significantly, sanctions strengthen nondemocratic rule if the regime manages to incorporate their existence into its legitimation strategy. Such a rally-round-the-flag effect occurs most often in cases where comprehensive sanctions targeting the entire population are imposed on regimes that enjoy strong claims to legitimacy and have only limited linkages to the sanction sender.” [Article] [Article]

Damn – more evidence that sanctions strengthen authoritarian rule. This isn’t looking good.

“Leaders targeted with economic sanctions or the threat thereof face systematically lower risks of losing office through a mechanism indicative of failure than do those who have not been “punished” by another state or the international community.” [Article]

So sanctions may help a leader stay in power?

“Autocratic regimes lower the supply of public goods to reduce private-sector productivity and hence the resources of potential challengers. As a result, sanctions-induced challenges become less likely and the sanctions episode may end in failure.” [Article]

The leader will just make sure that people don’t feel the hit from sanctions – this is entirely doable in Azerbaijan. They have a lot of money.

“While agreeing that authoritarians are indeed more robust to sanctions at most times, this article argues that there exist “windows of opportunity,” created by domestic instability, which make dictatorships particularly vulnerable to sanctions pressures.” [Article]

Sanctions only work in windows of domestic instability – and Azerbaijan rarely sees that. So this doesn’t bode well for sanctions.

“Sanctions can have a devastating impact on both the target country’s economic and political stability, and women often suffer significantly from the effects of such external shocks due to their vulnerable socioeconomic and political status. We thus argue that foreign economic pressures will reduce the level of respect for women’s rights in the targeted countries.” [Article]

Uh oh – economic sanctions can hurt women. Azerbaijani women are already doing pretty poorly. But in this model, economic and political stability must be impacted first, so because of the lack of a direct effect, maybe we shouldn’t be too worried about this.

I really enjoyed the original article and I am happy to hear some creative ideas about Azerbaijan, but the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that sanctions, even targeted ones, don’t make a big difference in the lives of everyday citizens and may even hurt people more.

Facebook digging in Azerbaijan

Pretending to create an advertisement on Facebook allows for insight into who is using Facebook in a particular place. I document how I do this here.

Today I was playing around with the Ad tool to see what Azerbaijanis are on Facebook.

According to Facebook Ads, 52% of Azerbaijanis accessing Facebook own a smartphone, 25% own a featurephone (some advanced features on a mobile device). And 55% of Azerbaijanis on Facebook are using Android and 18% an iPhone or iPad.

Less than 1% of Azerbaijanis on Facebook use a Mac, and 4% use Windows 8.

41% of Azerbaijani Facebook users access the site via Chrome (mobile or computer based). 3% use Firefox.

41% of Azerbaijani Facebook users are college graduates. 4% are parents.

59% have expressed some interest in sports and 55% in music.

Are these incredible insights into Azerbaijani society? No. But I’m open for suggestions in things to look at.

September 2014 – Facebook ad suggestions at Facebook use in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia

This is an update to this post from January and this post from March.

It is hard to know how many people in a country are using Facebook, but through Facebook’s Ad selling program, you can get some rounded information. The numbers they give are not exact, so these percentages displayed below are not accurate for the true number of users. THESE RESULTS MAY NOT ADD UP TO REASONABLE 100%S. I calculated everything from the actual population. So when it says 36% of Georgian women are X, I calculated from the population data from the World Bank. This isn’t SOLID information, but it does come FROM Facebook, so it is a little bit better than SocialBakers.

This is what it looks like to find out this information:

facebook

So, Armenia has 2,974,184 people, Azerbaijan 9,590,159 people, and Georgia 4,555,911 people total according to the World Bank and after I subtracted those age 0-14 (World Bank’s category, not mine) the populations are Armenia: 2,460,436; Azerbaijan: 7,419,487; Georgia: 3,855,233.

Facebook Ads says that this many people in each of those countries is a potential viewer of their ads (thus a Facebook user): Armenia: 580,000 (in January) 620,000 (in March) 680,000 (in September) ; Azerbaijan: 1,320,000 (in January) 1,380,000 (in March) 1,460,000 (in September); Georgia: 1,220,000 (in January) 1,280,000 (in March) 1,380,000 (in September).

Thus, here are the percentages of the age 14+ populations of each country who are on Facebook:

a(January)a2

14plussept

Armenia: 28%
Azerbaijan: 20%
Georgia: 36%

So that is interesting, but let us look at gender differences (I took the direct gender population data from the age distribution tables – this is not 50/50, but more accurate).

b(January)b2

popsept

Armenians and Georgians are evenly distributed gender-wise on Facebook. And Azerbaijanis, well, this gender difference isn’t surprising.

c(January)c2

gendersept

In terms of the balance of users, Armenians are fairly even, Georgians have a bit more women and you can see that about 2/3rds of Azerbaijanis on Facebook are men. Although this may seem shocking, this is much better than it has been in previous years.

d(January) EDIT: THIS SHOULD BE 15-24 YEAR OLDS!

d2

distrosepy

Wow Georgia! Most Georgian young adults are on Facebook, no doubt about that. About half of Armenian young adults and for Azerbaijan 60% of male young adults and a little over a third of female young adults.

For comparison, here’s Caucasus Barometer derived information from 2012 and 2013.