High Frequency Users Drive the Distribution of Russian Media in the Digital Debate
Understanding the key actors and principal narratives driving the digital conversation on Ukraine
Constella’s team of intelligence analysts created a custom, proprietary dashboard available through our Dome Platform, visualizing selected dimensions of the digital public conversation related to the Ukraine crisis to identify fast-moving global trends emerging from the online debate and to better understand the narratives and critical players driving the digital conversation. Each week, Constella Intelligence will share notable findings from its dashboard on the Constella Intelligence blog. Below are key insights from May 3rd to May 9th, 2022, from the digital public conversation related to Ukraine. Over the period analyzed, the dashboard captured 9,382,175 results generated by 1,603,621 users interacting in English.
KEY INSIGHTS – MAY 3RD TO 9TH, 2022
1. Russia Today (RT) maintains a central role and is highly concentrated in critical communities.
Below are the top 5 most shared RT domains across the debate this week. RT’s distribution is highly concentrated in one community, with 78.7% of shares occurring in the International Discontent community. This concentration indicates that RT is a key driver of the narratives and conversations that are emerging in this community, many of which are notably Pro-Kremlin and anti-US/anti-Nato.
Director, Risk Intelligence
https://www.rt.com/news/554907-pope-nato-provoke-russia (shared 729 times)
https://www.rt.com/news/555068-mexico-us-ukraine-obrador (shared 523 times)
https://www.rt.com/russia/555093-spiegel-video-azovstal-mariupol (shared 478 times)
https://www.rt.com/news/554871-howitzers-ukraine-pentagon-javelins (shared 403 times)
https://www.rt.com/russia/554975-training-ukraine-troops-germany (shared 397 times)
2. Abnormal activity users heavily impact the community where Russian state media is frequently distributed:
146,723 users, or 13% of all users within the debate, comprise the International Discontent community, the second largest. Within this group, 0.42% of users generate a disproportional impact, producing 16.4% of the results in this community. These high activity users’ most shared media domain (besides user-generated-content platform, YouTube) is RT.
COMMUNITIES – MAY 3RD TO 9TH, 2022
1. Ukraine Support (21.5% of users): Led by accounts including Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Zelensky, and the official profile of Ukraine. There are widespread expressions of support for the Ukrainian people, citing the U2 performance in Kyiv and Jill Biden’s meeting with Olena Zelenska (Ukrainian first lady). Military achievements, such as the attack on a Russian facility on the Black Sea, the interception of Russian missiles, and the recovery of the Ruska Lozova village, are praised.
2. Ukraine and U.S. Support (18.7% of users): Led by media, journalists and civil society. Comments persist about the cruelty of the Russian army while talk of U2’s performance in Kyiv and rumors about the intention of former KGB officers to overthrow Putin are circulated.
3. International Discontent (13% of users): Calls emerge for the United States to stay out of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as accusations that the U.S. is using Zelensky as a pawn to attack Russia.
4. U.S. Discontent (11.6% of users): Users point out that the leak of the Supreme Court document on possibly overturning Roe v. Wade is a maneuver to divert attention from the war in Ukraine and money laundering in that country. On the other hand, they call for an end to the war and claim that Canadian media does not report the arrest of a retired Canadian general who ran a bioweapons lab in Ukraine.
5. U.K. Discontent (4.2% of users): Users criticize claims that the I.T. company where Akshata Murthy (wife of Rishi Sunak, the U.K.’s chief finance minister) holds shares has not divested from Russia despite promising to do so. The British administration is questioned for their policy of granting visas to Ukrainian refugees.
6. Global News Media (4.2% of users): Key influencers include mainstream media like Reuters, New York Times, and AFP News Agency. Highlights include the U.S. State Department’s shift on the detention of Brittney Griner in Russia, now publicly stating that she had been “wrongfully detained”, and the statements of Robert Habeck (German economy minister) calling on Russia to abandon the war.
7. Pakistan Discontent (3.4% of users): Led by Russian journalist Erin Brown and Shireen Mazari (Pakistani politician). Users criticize the United States for interference in Pakistani politics with reference to Imran Khan’s departure from the government.
APPENDIX – MAY 3RD TO 9TH, 2022
In the first iteration of this dashboard, we captured results related to the following 3 dimensions: Countries, Key Figures, Themes
- Selected countries currently in the dashboard include: The United States, Ukraine, Russia, China, Poland, Belarus.
- Selected Key Figures currently in the dashboard include: Vladimir Putin, Volodymyr Zelensky, Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Ursula Von der Leyen, Josep Borrell, Xi Jinping, Olaf Scholz. Any mentions to these key figures are captured in the dashboard and can be visualized across multiple dimensions of analysis.
- Selected themes currently in the dashboard include: Ukraine Citizens Impact, Economy, Cyberattacks, Migration Movements
Constella's Ukraine dashboard - Key Countries Module Preview
To see our full dashboard in action, Request a Demo with one of our geopolitical intelligence experts.