EPRS Admin By / February 10, 2022

Audiences of the six biggest independent and six biggest pro-regime media internet outlets in June 2021

Audiences of the six biggest independent and six biggest pro-regime media internet outlets in June 2021

Audiences of the six biggest independent and six biggest pro-regime media internet outlets in June 2021

The events which followed the presidential elections of 2020 mobilised new followers for both independent and pro-regime outlets on the internet. According to a study by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), Belarus’ six biggest independent media outlets gained a higher number of new Facebook followers (higher by 22 700) than the six biggest pro-regime media outlets over a period between June 2020 and June 2021. In June 2021, these independent media outlets had 566 000 followers, compared to 334 000 followers for the pro-regime outlets.
However, the website traffic analysis on a selected number of independent and state-controlled outlets between December 2020 and May 2021 showed that the state-controlled media were visited more frequently (98 million times) than the independent ones (67 million times).
Interpreting both results, DFRLab suggests that state blocking of independent media harmed their internet traffic, but not their social media presence. Furthermore, the independent Telegram channels, with over 1.8 million followers as of 9 June 2021, were far more popular than pro-regime ones, which had only 250 000 subscribers at that time.
These huge differences explain why the current regime is so determined to dismantle independent social media, although the popularity of independent social media has diminished – a common phenomenon among protest movements – while the popularity of pro-regime channels has been slowly but constantly growing.


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