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Press Statement on Liberia’s Midterm Special Senatorial Election

Political actors continue to increase the use of social media in spreading their messages. A recent  LEON survey found that over half of people living in urban areas of the country use Facebook  regularly. As, with many other countries, use of social media may be both positive as a way to  keep in touch or negative, as a means to spread disinformation, misinformation or even hate  speech. Since March 2020, LEON has been monitoring public and private Facebook pages of politicians and political commentators. Beginning October 2020 LEON has focused on the  candidates for December 2020 Special Senatorial Election and also posts around the Referendum.  Sites are being monitored for their own content but also for third party postings, reposting or  trolling. Analysis focus on who is being trolled most, and by whom, why are they being trolled and  the specific language being used. Hate speech, incitement and/or dangerous speech is also flagged  where it occurs.

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