As part of our regular monitoring of democratic discourse online, the following report analyses Libyan social media activity between May and August 2020 across the four categories of security and conflict, elections and the constitution, the UN and covid-19.
Using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research, it evaluates the prominent themes in online discussion relating to these four categories and the key voices that propagate them. This is done using a base list of 33 Arabic-language, Libya-focused publications, in addition to all .ly domains, and 86 international, national and local Facebook pages using the same criteria.
We find that during the examined period, the broader trends observed in the months following the April 2019 assault on Tripoli have largely continued. In specific, we observed that:
- Security and conflict remained a topic of high engagement, but there was a fairly significant drop in comparison with the previous reporting period.
- Interest in elections and the constitution has remained low when seen through the lens of digital media outlets and published articles, but wider public Facebook discussion is at its highest level since prior to the LAAF siege of Tripoli in April 2019.
- Interest in the United Nations and the UN Support Mission in Libya has significantly decreased since the resignation of Ghassan Salame from his role as UN special envoy.
- Covid-19 remains by far the most-engaged-with topic in Libyan public online spaces.