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March 02, 2021 | 19 Pages | English | Alexandra Siegel
How Lebanese Elites Coopt Protest Discourse: A Social Media Analysis

Massive protests ignited around Lebanon on October 17, 2019, with protestors blaming their sectarian elites for the country’s political, financial, and economic woes. This reports aims to understand how the political elites coopted the protest narratives on social media. For this purpose, we analyze the Twitter handles of 159 Lebanese political elites, and track their use of the most popular protest hashtags, the vast majority of which were supportive of the revolution. We find that the Lebanese elites quickly coopted revolution hashtags, beginning to incorporate them into their strategic communication strategies almost as soon as the October 2019 protests erupted.

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