Analysts of Infosecurity.sk have prepared an overview of the main disinformation narratives that were disseminated in the Slovak information space during 2021.
The publication captures the main disinformation trends in the Slovak information space, which are linked to 7 selected domestic and international topics.
- Death of former Police President Milan Lučanský
- Power struggle in the security forces;
- Political and health issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have analyzed the narratives around these topics by examining the Facebook content published by selected political actors (150 top posts), and also on selected websites (a total of 4,615 articles). Lists of both political actors and websites are available in the appendices of the study.
For data extraction, we used analytical tools Crowd Tangle (Meta) and Gerulata Juno.
- Posts related to the topic of Covid-19 were clearly predominant within the analyzed Facebook content. Of the 150 posts examined, political or health topics related to the Covid-19 pandemic appeared in as many as 112 cases.
- Within the analyzed Facebook content, the topic of Covid-19 attracted the most interactions. At the same time, videos in this category received the most views.
- Among international topics, Russia and the USA resonated the most and gained the majority of interactions on Facebook. In the case of audiovisual content, videos mentioning the USA were the most successful followed by videos discussing Russia.
- Topics like Vrbětice, the energy crisis, and Ukraine appeared most frequently within the category of Russa-related content. In the case of the USA, the presidential elections, negotiations between the presidents of the USA and Russia, and the agreement on defense cooperation between the Slovak Republic and the USA resonated the most.
- The analysis of Facebook posts showed that the content posted by MP M. Mazurek and Ľ. Blaha gained the highest number of interactions. However, this finding does not correspond with the real total share of interactions on Facebook for the whole year of 2021 – this indicator points to Blaha as a clear winner.
- Within the category of web content, we analyzed a total of 4,615 articles. The majority of the analyzed articles discussed the topic of Covid-19, with their number (1,783 articles) far exceeding all other topics (approximately 38.63% of all examined articles), the topics related to the USA and Russia came second.
- The majority of the analyzed articles were published by the website called Extraplus (1,620 articles), followed by Hlavný denník (946 articles) and Slovanské noviny (460).
- Analysis of the articles allowed us to identify links to individual political actors (direct citation or sharing of statements, videos, posts). In the total number of mentions, Ľuboš Blaha claimed the first place, followed by Robert Fico and Anna Belousovová.
- The web content differed slightly from the posts most popular on Facebook. For instance, M. Mazurek was not mentioned at all within the analyzed web content, despite the success of his posts on Facebook.
- The analysis of the content published both on the selected websites and Facebook points to a link between individual disinformation narratives. For instance, the Covid-19 topic was linked with other topics in many articles and posts.
- The examined content employed a relatively strong pro-Russian rhetoric, anti-Western narratives, as well as toxic content aimed against the government and its policies (especially in the context of Covid-19 and in connection with the US-SR defense agreement).
Michaela Ružičková, Peter Dubóczi, Katarína Drevená, Štefan Ižák, Adam Mazúch
Michaela Ružičková, Peter Dubóczi
The report has been prepared with support from Zinc Network. The opinions expressed are solely those of authors and do not reflect those of Zinc Network.
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