SG-M’SIA reaction on FB to maritime-airspace disputes

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No laughing matter? Well, not to some on FB….

What’s the online reaction towards the simmering Singapore-Malaysia row over maritime and airspace disputes?

I adapted a previous model using CrowdTangle data for a quick look. The same caveats apply, ie, this is an imprecise snapshot of public sentiment.

For reaction on the Singapore-side, I took data from 42 FB posts by CNA, ST and TODAY this week. The posts included videos, story links and photos. A quick look at the FB reaction numbers:

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CNA is leading the competition, scoring the highest level of FB interaction, especially in terms of the most important metric — “shares”. Here’s the data visualised as a simple bar chart:

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Again, the generic “Like” is the most common response, followed by shares and comments.

Surprisingly, more people clicked on “Haha” as a response, compared to “Angry”. Worth watching how this mood map changes, or not, as the situation escalates.

For reaction on the Malaysian-side, I took data from 81 FB posts by The Star, Malay Mail Online, Malaysiakini, NST and Bernama this week. Here’s a quick look at a summary of the raw data:

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What’s immediately clear is the lower level of overall-interaction on this issue compared to the FB pages of the Singapore media outlets. Visualised via a bar chart:

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I skipped over the Bernama data for the chart as the numbers were too low. Overall, the key reaction categories — “Likes”, comments and shares all tracked lower than those seen for the Singapore media outlets. Quick comparison:

Likes: 17,686 in Singapore media’s FB pages Vs 13,121 in Malaysian media’s FB pages.

Shares: 11,001 in Singapore media’s FB pages Vs 3,176 in Malaysian media’s FB pages.

Comments: 5,269 in Singapore media’s FB pages Vs 2,155 in Malaysian media’s FB pages.

Here’s a look at both charts, side-by-side:

What this means: Things could change in a hurry in situations like this. But if Dr M is hoping to use this bilateral row to distract from his domestic troubles, especially a politically sensitive rally this weekend, Malaysians aren’t exactly biting in a big way.

I’ll update this if things turn south in a big way. For now, let’s see what an “expert” has to say about this issue:

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Data Science | Media | Politics

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