Results of second stage of research - e-participation in Georgia

News 13 November 2012

In order to identify the main tendencies of usage of social networks by public institutions, political actors and the representatives of media, Facebook pages of 19 public institutions, 8 political parties, 2 public figures and 6 representatives of media were being monitored since July 1st. The primary results of the research, covering pre-election period (mainly July-August) was published in September. Mentioned survey includes results of monitoring before parliamentary election, the day of election and period after declaring the results of election. More precisely it covers the period between July 1st and October 15th.


Main problems and tendencies identified during the monitoring of Facebook pages of public institutions:

  • Administrators of official Facebook pages of public institutions do not consider social networks as the simplest and the most effective way of communication with users.
  • The personal message service is not enabled on most of the pages (user can’t send a private message to the institution’s official Facebook page). In addition to this problem majority of the pages have locked “wall”. The absence of these two components prevents citizens from freely expressing their opinion or stating the problem.
  • Page administrators do not respond quickly and effectively to the questions the users pose and do not contribute to starting discussions.
  • In many cases not only offensive comments are removed from pages but also politely expressed critical opinions.
  • Change of government influenced the frequency of adding news. Not single news was shared on some pages during whole October. And in general the level of activity was significantly low.

Following challenges and tendencies were identified in case of political actors:

  • Some political actors have quite few applications, however there are exceptions. Pages particularly lack applications and services that guarantee more citizen involvement, for instance – petitions, online surveys and etc.
  • Some parties and political actors do not have the successive strategy of building communication with population through their social network pages.
  • Apart from several exceptions, administrators of political actors’ pages do not consider that responding to all user questions is important. The situation deteriorated after elections.
  • Very often comments disappear, especially from the pages were citizens are particularly active.
  •  In most cases it is very difficult for a Facebook user to get information about party’s ideological platform.\
  • Political activeness and discussion is quite polarized – level of user participation is especially high on pages of just two political actors.
  • After elections the level of activeness of political actors on their pages was noticeably diminished.

And finally the research of Facebook pages of various media representatives displayed that:

  •  In case of most TV channels, the quality of usage of social networks and communication with users is quite low.
  • The majority of TV channels do not have an elaborated strategy of communicating with users.
  • Facebook page administrators do not take into consideration the comments of the users and do not respond to the questions of the citizens;
  • On the pages of some TV channels no modern application are available. Services or communication strategy with users have not been improved.
  •  It turned out that the activeness of citizens in social networks is quite high. It’s proved by the number of subscribers, “likes”, shares and comments that users leave on these pages.
  • Hate speeches prevail while citizens are expressing their view; however there still can be found some interesting, constructive dialogues and opinions.

According to the survey we may conclude that developing e-communication platform is significant for informing citizens better, enhancing their participation and helping them become active members of society which is the premise of better governance and democratic development of country.

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