Public opinion
5 min

The kings of Facebook. The most efficient politicians and top officials in the social network

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Public opinion

About the project

Note: This project was conducted as part of Artellence and, together with similar projects, became a prerequisite for the creation of the NGO Association for the Development of Big Data and Information Technology of Ukraine with the involvement of experts who directly implemented this project.

We studied Facebook activity of almost fifty leading figures of the Ukrainian government and politics as well as evaluated the effectiveness of communicating their information and ideas to social media users. We relied on the readers’ feedback to the politicians’ posts: number of comments to the posts, number of shares and likes.

The purpose of the study is to investigate how Ukrainian politicians shape public opinion on social media.

Why this is important?

Leading figures in the Ukrainian government and politics are trying to actively influence public opinion. Since social media is one of the main means of influencing society, it is interesting to track how effectively different politicians use it and how it affects their political careers.

The Facebook Influence Ranking shows which Ukrainian politicians have been most effective in communicating their information and ideas to users of the world's most popular social network in September 2017.

Research methodology

Research period: September 2017.

  • The long list includes members of the Cabinet of Ministers, mayors, heads of regional administrations, MPs, as well as politicians who do not belong to any of the categories of politicians and who have an active personal account or official Facebook page;
  • The places on the final shortlist (politicians with the largest number of followers) were distributed as follows:
    • 10 members of the Cabinet of Ministers, the President, and 9 representatives of other executive bodies (mayors, heads of regional administrations, etc.),
    • 18 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada (priority is given to the speaker, deputy speaker and heads of factions),
    • 10 opposition politicians and leaders of political blocs and movements who were not included in the previous groups.

Results of the study

The rating itself is available below, in the Additional Materials section. The infographic was created a long time ago, so, unfortunately, it remains in Russian.

Distribution of positions in the ranking:

  • opposition politician Mikheil Saakashvili became the leader of the rating. According to Borys Davydenko, editor-in-chief of VoxUkraine, criticism of the government has proved to be a rewarding topic in the Ukrainian Facebook space;
  • the top ten of the rating includes six politicians opposed to Poroshenko and his team. Their rhetoric consists mainly of critical judgments about the current situation in the country;
  • as the results of fugitive former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov (5th place in the ranking) and one of the leaders of the Opposition Block Oleksandr Vilkul (11th place) show, Facebook users are ready to support even openly "traitorous" posts. Their posts often contain manipulated facts and sometimes false information. However, both have a good response from their followers;
  • politicians from the "authorities" also have good response rates: Yuriy Biryukov, Yuriy Lutsenko, Anton Gerashchenko, Volodymyr Omelyan, Arsen Avakov.

Additional information on the "relevance of posts" parameter:

  • in addition to the reaction from readers, relevance is also important for Facebook posts. This parameter had a significant weight in the final rating;
  • the relevance of the top ten politicians and government officials was the highest among all politicians. On average, four posts out of ten are relevant for the leaders;
  • at the same time, for example, Vadym Rabinovych, an Opposition Block MP and record holder for the number of posts on Facebook in September - he posted an average of 17 posts per day - had a low overall performance, worthy of only 20th place in the ranking. The posts were very broad in scope, including jokes.

Additional materials

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1. Publish the results of this study;
2. Compile such ratings at regular intervals to study the social impact and public opinion;
3. Conduct such studies for other categories of pages.


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