The arrival of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez to power marks the beginning of a new stage for progressive civil society in Colombia, marked by expectation. For the first time, organizations that promote human rights and the expansion of civic space expect that the official agenda of the incoming government will coincide with several of the causes they promote. This undoubtedly represents a window of opportunity, but, at the same time, it implies certain challenges. In our latest election newsletter we tell you about them.
The arrival of Francia Márquez as Vice-President is historic from several angles. As an Afro-Colombian woman, activist, social and environmental leader from the Colombian Pacific, Márquez represents several struggles that until now have not had such a powerful voice in the political debate. In this issue of the bulletin, we analyse how Francia Márquez's voice was constructed in the digital environment, the relationship with political muscle and the narratives associated with electoral success.
On his way to the second round, Hernández not only managed to position himself as the 'king of TikTok', but, without a consolidated structure like Gustavo Petro's, he generated a contagion effect that made millions of Colombians dance to his anti-corruption music, especially the connected-unconnected, a population that consumes social networks, games and entertainment, but not politics.
In this edition we teamed up with Recetas Electorales to compare the results of surveys with those of 750 Twitter polls. We found that, although they end up being more indicative of user anxiety than reality, the polls serve to understand the interests that partisan bubbles have and the way they process the election campaign agenda and reinsert it into the public debate cycle. And, even if they show a certain lag with respect to the results of the surveys, the polls have something to say about the momentum of each candidate.
One month before the elections, it is clear that economic issues have been and will continue to be at the centre of the debate. We mapped out the conversation on various social platforms to show that the demand for economic information is growing at the same time as the supply of misinformation. This situation poses the challenge of asking better questions in the debates, so that it is the candidates themselves who refresh the conversation with new information. You are welcome to read the sixth issue.
Candidates - as well as some journalists, media outlets and influencers - have used polls in a biased way, incurring several problems when disseminating, reading and analysing them on social media. In the midst of a fragmented and outrage-fuelled environment, these instruments will continue to be wielded as the ultimate proof of the success of some and the failure of others. That is why we share with you this guide to avoid being deceived with social media polls. It's not that they don't work, it's just that we should always keep in mind what problems we may encounter when we encounter polls.
In this fourth installment of the election newsletter, we focus on digital advertising in Meta, which has become essential in any campaign strategy. How does digital advertising work in Meta, and why is it so important for campaigns today? The Ad Library seems to be an important part of the answer. Not only because of its usefulness for candidates, but also because of its transparency, which is key for the electoral process in Colombia. Understanding and answering these questions will be fundamental for the presidential elections that are coming up and that look, so far, quite aggressive.
Narratives of electoral fraud have gained great traction in the context of the political contest. In the third issue of the bulletin, we analyse some of the mechanisms that have allowed these narratives to multiply at an ever-increasing speed and offer some recommendations to avoid falling into the dynamics of disinformation when it comes to election monitoring and coverage.
In the second issue of our election newsletter we measure the impact of the Constitutional Court's landmark ruling on abortion, look at the media's attempts to measure campaigning on networks and study electoral disinformation.
In this first edition of the newsletter we analyse the dichotomy between the political and the anti-political and how it has marked the start of the campaigns. We also put a spotlight on TikTok, which in a short time has become the new digital myth of these elections.
These bulletins were produced with the support of NED.