A new trending hashtag, #لبنانيون_ضد_حزبالله has emerged in the past few days, following the televised resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Lebanon and the start of the Lebanese-KSA crisis.
We briefly analyze the “Lebanese against Hezbollah” hashtag to better understand its origin and its propagation on Twitter.
Our sample of 117 tweets is extracted on Nov. 12, 2017 from Twitter using NodeXL and Twitter’s search API.
The structure looks like a set of fragmented clusters led by a broadcast leader. There is no real discussion about the subject. One tweet is launched and a group of followers is retweeting back. This does not seem like a genuine discussion, more like an “engineered” one.
With this shape of network, it is very unlikely that this would be a trending hashtag or that it will last for more than a couple of days.
Overwhelming Presence of Saudi Accounts
Given the timing of the launch of the hashtag, we wonder who has initiated it.
In the chart below, vertices are labeled based on their country of origin (COO) – vertices with a “zero” label do not have a country set in their profile.
Based on the above and on the pivot table generated (below), it looks like the “lebanese against Hezbollah” hashtag was mostly generated and distributed by KSA residents or citizen (25%) and not by Lebanese residents or citizen (less than 1%).
There is a margin of error to take into consideration (58% of the sample without a specified country). However, the overwhelming presence of declared Saudi residents/citizen against Lebanese residents/citizen in the sample, is significant enough.
|COO||Count of Country|
Mayors and Diffusers of the Discussion
The chart below shows the mayors of the discussion with their respective weight (in-degree):
A Time-Based Animation of the Discussion
The following analysis is based on a sample of 11,919 tweets extracted using Twitter’s API. The search term for this sample is #سنة_من_عمر_وطن which is the “one year from a country’s life” hashtag launched by the President’s movement(s). Twitter’s Search API is focused on relevance and not completeness. This means that some Tweets and users may be missing from search results. Unfortunately, it is not easy to determine the total number of tweets for this hashtag. However, we can roughly estimate this number to be between 20 to 30% of the total number of tweets for this hashtag.
Tweets have been grouped by cluster using the Clauset-Newman-Moore algorithm using NodeXL.
Almost Complete Absence of the March 14 Component
The most noticeable aspect of the discussion is the almost total absence of politicians of March 14. Saad Hariri was mentioned by some users but did not tweet himself (as least in our representative sample). Samir Geagea and Walid Joumblatt did not appear in the sample.
In fact, we double-checked Samir Geagea’s profile, and it looks like he never tweeted regarding the end of the first year of the presidency.
Only a very small group of people (9 users in our sample) attacked the regime and its relation with Hezbollah. Two other groups of 20 users (total) sarcastically commented on the President’s answers to the journalists.
The logical explanation for this behavior is the extreme polarization of the Lebanese society. In such cases of strong polarization, people from politically competing groups don’t use the same hashtags or join the discussion. This explains their almost total absence.
The Overwhelming Joy of Followers
The hashtag was launched by the pro-President movement. It is therefore logical to have an overwhelming presence of pro-President users tweeting and using the hashtag.
Pro-President users are not however a tight crowd, i.e. a close community. The largest group of tweeters is 493 users tweeting 2056 times. This group does not include a notable politician, not even the President.
A dismantled community
The fact that the largest pro-Aounists group of tweeters is leaderless could be interpreted as a symptom of leadership crisis.
This is also shown in the way pro-President groups are divided:
- A leaderless group (493 users, 2056 tweets)
- A President-Bassil-Kanaan-Jamil el Sayyed group (96 users, 269 tweets)
- The official account for the Presidency (77 users, 125 tweets)
- An Alain Aoun group (57 users, 69 tweets)
While many bridges connect the Kanaan-Bassil-Sayyed group (Kanaan being the most retweeted) to the main group of fans, the connections between this group and the Alain Aoun group are almost non-existant (5 in total).
Part of the Pro-President group is discussing with the Kanaan group (224 incoming connections and 142 outgoing connections) while other users from this group are discussing with Alain Aoun (52 connections and 35 outgoing connections). An explanation would be that, while the President’s fans are all happy with the “successes” of the first year of presidency, they look divided in terms of affiliation.
It is rare not to see Hezbollah’s fans join political discussions on Twitter. In the case of the presidency’s hashtag, we notice some very strong support from Hezbollah’s users with tweets about the alliance between President Aoun and Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
The Importance of the Role of Mr. Gebran Bassil
While the discussion was primarily centered around the presidency, it is important to mention that a discussion about the positive role (as a supporter of the Hezbollah) and another one about the negative role of Gebran Bassil (corruption) was taking place.
Even though only a few users discussed the role of Mr. Gebran Bassil, this shows that he is a major concern (positive or negative) to many citizen.
Suleiman Frangieh Supporters
Finally, the most important aspect of the debate is probably the fact that the second largest clique in the discussion is a group with several discussion “mayors”, the most important two being Suleiman Frangieh supporters, Sleiman Frangieh (note that this is a different Suleiman Frangieh – @avsl_frangieh) and Georges Bou Nassif (@georgesbnassif). These users challenge the so called “success” by asking “which country are you talking about?”
Independents and Journalists, like Mariam al Bassam (New TV) and Yazbeck Wehbé (LBC), are also part of the debate against the “happy ones”.
The absence or at least very small involvement of people from the Future Movement, the Lebanese Forces and the Kataeb is noticeable.
As a result, we suggest that the real skirmish today is between the President’s supporters and Mr. Suleiman Frangieh’s supporters, while other Christians and ex-14 March groups are taking a distant neutral and silent stance from the joy or the frustrations of the first year of Presidency.
I would like to thank all my guests, Mr. Rachad Saddi (EMEA Channel Partner Manager, Global Partnerships at Google), Mrs. Michèle Khalifé (Head of Marketing and Communication at Total Liban), Mrs. Rita Hayek (Actress), Mr. George Khalaf (YouTuber and Film Director) for joining in and sharing their experience with my students.
Special thanks to Marc Smith and Arber Ceni for their support with NodeXL and for making sure we have the best experience in mapping Twitter and Facebook discussions.
Finally, thanks to all my students for making this time memorable: Jinane Chamseddine, Maya Kabakibi, Nada Jahchan, Reel ElZein, Jad Makarem, Sara Mansour, John Tamer, Bassem Youssef, Wael Abi Jumaa, Ralph Adaimy, Muriel Fourcroy, Joelle Audi, Ghida ElBaba, Elisa Samaha, Sarah Bou Daher, Joseph Yazbeck Ramadi & Layal Hossary.
My presentation at the Responsible Organizations in the Global Context (ROGC) conference at Georgetown University, Washington DC, 15-16 June 2017
This is the new Photoshop template for Facebook page covers. It helps create compatible layouts for both Retina Display devices and mobile devices.
Usage is fairly simple. The initial display is self explanatory: the purple area is the part of the cover that will be visible on mobile. The full frame will appear on desktops.
Copy and paste your photo on a new layer or create your design – this is the version you will see on deskops :
To check the layout for mobiles, unhide the “show mobile” folder in the layers panel (make sure the “show mobile” folder is on top of all layers):
This is your mobile version:
To download the Adobe Photoshop PSD file, follow the link: Facebook Cover Template 2017
1- Lock Object
2- Create text frames
3- Place Method text
4- Create a Drop Cap > Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph Panel
5- Continue text (link) in Results
6- Place USJ logo
7- Place girl
8- Wrap text around girl > Window > Text Wrap > Type: Alpha Channel > Alpha 1
9- Place IPM logo
7- Rotate IPM logo
8- Place Copyrights Image
9- Use Transparency > effects pannel > Transparency
10- Place Table
11- Fill Table
12- Change color and line of Conclusion Box
13- Place and rotate text in Conclusion Box
14- Place Superman – Wrap text around Superman’s frame
15- Flip Superman
16- Create Drop Shadow
17- Create bullet points in Aim
18- Draw Lines
19- Draw Stars > double click polygonal tool
20- Place Copyrights Image
23- Create Circle
24- Position Circle
25- Create Text on Path
26- Create Orange Image Box in Introduction
27- Round Corners
28- Place Image
29- Use Effets