Chávez and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in Twitter

Hopefully some academic(s) will write papers or books about how the Venezuelan governing party has made effective and sophisticated use of social media, in a way that is probably quite distinctive outside of the U.S. Besides Chávez’s blog, and very active Twitter account (which he uses to rally supporters in Twitter, and for exchanging public tweets with other Latin American presidents), the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) has its own website, and another equally active Twitter account, as well as that of its youth wing in Twitter. This is where it gets interesting. In addition to mass producing blogs for each of its many electoral candidates (such as this one, to take one example from dozens listed on the front of the PSUV main website), it has stacked Twitter with accounts for dozens of operatives, many of them relatively anonymous yet in party uniform, such as DeltaAmacuroC1 and DeltaAmacuroC2, producing a greater force of numbers and message amplifiers. In addition, there are allied sites and accounts, such as the website of the Frente Francisco de Miranda, and its Twitter account. Merely documenting how all of these relate and correspond with one another, online and in public view, would be quite a task in itself, looking at which messages and at what time, around which issue, are forcefully moved to higher visibility through followers’ retweets for example.

To have a look at some of the competing social media campaigns by the PSUV’s rivals, see Primero Justicia (barely starting in Twitter) and Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) (also in Twitter)

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About Maximilian C. Forte

I am a professor of anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. My areas of research and teaching interest are centered in Political Anthropology, with a focus on imperialism, neoliberalism and globalization, nationalism, democracy, and the international political economy of knowledge production.
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