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Egypt elections captured on social media

Enthusiasm waned after the first round, with online mentions of the voting dropping by over 50%

Social media monitoring company SocialEyez has reported that interest in the Egypt elections waned after the first round.
Social media monitoring company SocialEyez has reported that interest in the Egypt elections waned after the first round.

Social media comments and posts about the Egyptian elections dropped significantly from 13,815 mentions during the first round of elections on 28th and 29th of November, to 4,608 mentions during the second stage of elections on the 14th and 15th of December, before rebounding slightly to 6,540 mentions on the third round of voting on 9th and 10th of January, according to SocialEyez, a social media monitoring platform with support for Arabic content.

SocialEyez said that the initial surge in interest during the first round of elections began to fade by the time the second round of elections began, the website also said that due to the Islamist lead, the results of the first elections had been noteworthy for many social media users, who then shifted their focus to other topics of discussion.

Many social media users highlighted the high turn-out at the voting stations and their hopes for a better government.

Raehat Al-ward Wal-Ful wrote on the Facebook page of Rasd News Network (RNN), an online news service: "The Egyptian people are great and the elite who claim that the people don't understand [politics] so they make bad choices are not able to understand the real nature of the wonderful and brave Egyptians. A salute to the genuine Egyptian nation including its youth, elders, children, males and females."

The main topics of discussion on all social media forums during the election were the role of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as a focus on the behaviour of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The focus on the armed forces was heightened by a picture of an abaya-clad women being stripped and beaten by the military police.

According to SocialEyez, over 73% of monitored Social Media users opposed the excessive use of force by the military against protesters and expressed deep concern about military tactics.

"This is totally unacceptable! Tantawi and his dogs are attacking and killing our sons and daughters!" said Wael Salem on Facebook.

While on the news website Al Dostor one reader added "This is not an army. It's rather an armed militia affiliated with Hosni Mubarak. They are the cursed dogs of Mubarak."

However, 22% of all monitored comments defended the military police's behavior and many accused the protesters of fabricating footage.

"We all are supporting the army. They are doing their jobs to protect the public interest. All Egyptians know that all the videos showing soldiers beating people are not real. All of them have been fabricated," Hana Qamar said on Facebook.

The role of martyrs during the election violence was also widely discussed, with 44% of Tweets on the Egypt elections urging others to remember the role they played in the revolution.

At the beginning of the election, many social media discussions focused on election procedures and safety, while in the last rounds the comments shifted to the final outcome of the elections, with many expressing satisfaction at how badly the former regime leaders had done in the voting.

Approximately 70% of Egypt's social media users expressed satisfaction with the bad results these candidates received.

User Mohamed Ibrahim said: "I'm proud of the conscious Egyptian nation that proved it is not an ignorant nation and has been able to isolate all former regime remnants from the elections without the need to issue the political isolation law. Hold your head up high, you are an Egyptian."