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Social media played a prominent role in Thailand’s election outcome

Social media played a prominent role in the general election outcome, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Thaksin Shinawatra being the most talked about politicians online, according to a report from data analytics firm Wisesight.

Wisesight found a total of 1,386,294 mentions in messages and 67,499,857 engagements on social media posts related to political parties and their leaders.

Wisesight collected information on the top 10 keyword searches on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pantip and some news sites. The keywords were party names, candidates and party leader names.

The top male politicians most talked about on social media during January to February 2019 were Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (449,529 messages, 22,747,846 engagements), Thaksin Shinawatra (243,508 messages, 8,811,468 engagements) and Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit (163,555 messages, 15,525,292 engagements).

The top female politicians searched on social media were Sudarat Keyuraphan (73,150 messages, 4,656,188 engagements) and Yingluck Shinawatra (59,172 messages, 3,055,415 engagements).

According to The Sociable, a technology news blog, political parties had more freedom to campaign on social media as the junta partially lifted its ban on political activity.

According to a joint report by We Are Social and Hootsuite, Thailand has about 51 million Facebook with 22 million active users registered in Bangkok.

“There’s a real shift in sentiment, and voters under 25 do not want military control,” Duncan McCargo, professor at the University of Leeds and an expert on Thai politics told The Star.

“This group of people has the most stake in the future and is the group that participates most in political discussions on social media.”

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
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