The election fight, which many don’t consider to be a fight, while others believe the opposite, saying that for the first time we witnessed an assassination attempt, is having quite an interesting effect on the news and information arena.
Developments on the most politicized social networking site used by Armenians, Facebook, for example, are interesting. During the parliamentary elections last May, a sharp decline of Facebook users during the election campaign period was seen in Armenia probably for the first time. Growth was restored only at the end of May and halfway through June.
One guess at why this was is that the over-politicization and “information wars” on Facebook resulted in many choosing to simply leave the social network for a month.
This time, perhaps, Facebook hasn’t exhausted Armenian users so much, since there’s a regular increase in users. Though a slowing down of this growth was felt in the early days of February, the picture is different from last May. And one can presume that the interest in the election campaign is increasing even among less politicized users, since often political developments are reinterpreted through memes.
On Twitter, a clear interest in the upcoming presidential election is seen, however, among a limited number of users, who are mainly foreign journalists, and the tweets are read by users interested in Armenia.
There are two hashtags on the 2013 Armenian presidential election that are mainly used — #armvote and #armvote13. However, after the assassination attempt on presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan, the hashtag #Hayrikyan began to be used quite actively. If we look at the statistics, we’ll understand that the “Hayrikyan factor” brought a certain amount of action to the arena. In fact, it’s only during the last few days of the election campaign period (that is, the days before the election) that a buzz can be seen.
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.