Slanted Narratives, Social Media, and Foreign Influence in Libya

Authors

  • Shelby Grossman Stanford University
  • Katie Jonsson
  • Nicholas Lyon
  • Lydia Sizer

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2022.010

Keywords:

social media, facebook, libya, foreign influence operations

Abstract

In fragile contexts such as Libya where social media penetration is high, foreign social media outlets with political interests can use social media platforms to influence the country's politics. In this study, we assess how social media content varies by the country of the information producer. We create a dataset of Facebook posts about a strongman’s recent attack on Tripoli (N=16,662). We find that more than half of the posts originated from outside Libya and that posts from countries aligned with the Tripoli-based government are biased in that direction and posts from countries aligned with the eastern-based strongman are biased toward his forces. However, many Pages are not slanted: the correlations are instead driven by a smaller number of hyperpartisan Pages. Our findings have implications for our understanding of how social media content -- especially from abroad -- shapes citizen perceptions of the legitimacy of competing political actors.

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Published

2022-06-03

How to Cite

Grossman, S., Jonsson, K., Lyon, N., & Sizer, L. (2022). Slanted Narratives, Social Media, and Foreign Influence in Libya. Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media, 2. https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2022.010

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Articles