Facebook has been one of the most famous social media over the last decade. According to Statista, an online statistics database, Facebook is the first social media leader and dominates more than 40% of the social media market. Twitter is at the 4th place with only 5% of the market. It might seem weird at first but believe it or not, “Edward Snowden” on Facebook is a very different story than “Edward Snowden” on Twitter. The results for “Edward Snowden” using Facebook search engine gives numerous results which are organized in different categories such as Top, Latest, people, pages, and groups. By analyzing the Top results, it seems like almost all the results are about shared articles on Edward Snowden, but none of the results showed status where “Edward Snowden” was mentioned. The very first results were posts from supporters of Edward Snowden. More than five consecutive posts from Freedom of the Press Foundation were just about Him. On their Facebook biography, Freedom of the Press Foundation describe themselves as an organization “…dedicated to helping support and defend aggressive, public-interest journalism focused in …law-breaking in government… We maintain SecureDrop, an open-source whistleblower submission system, which helps keep sources safe”. In other words, Edward Snowden is a perfect example of this organization advocacy. The four latest posts on the Facebook page were about Snowden, and these posts were made two days apart, which means that the topic “Snowden” is still trending on this page. However, one of these posts clearly demonstrates that Freedom of the Press Foundation is supporting Edward Snowden at 100%. The post was about an article which explains why Snowden should be pardoned. The caption with the post is even more interesting as it is saying that Freedom of the Press Foundation is proud to support the petition for Snowden pardon .
This post was shared 117 times and has more than 250 likes, but has only 15 comments. By skimming through the comment section, it looks like the support for Edward Snowden is back on trend because of the elections.
As it is shown in the picture, these users, who also seems to be Supporters of the Snowden cause, claim that Hilary Clinton should support Edward Snowden if she wants to win the elections. Here again, it appears that the supporters of Edward Snowden are people that are very concerned about politics. One of the users, Ryan Reus, had commented every single post concerning Edward Snowden on this page. An analysis of the Freedom of the Press Foundation page was necessary to understand the impact that this page has on Facebook users. According to like analyzer, this page has more than 14000 followers but with only an engagement rate of 0.93%. Another popular page that shows supports to Snowden is Anonymous, a page that “Supports the poor & powerless. Bringing justice to the world.”. On their most recent post on Edward Snowden, they shared an article which claimed that Snowden warned people about the Google messaging app. Anonymous added with the share article that American should listen to Snowden.
Here, rather than showing supports for Snowden pardon, there is support in Snowden actions. This post, compared to one of the Press Foundation post, was shared more than 9700 times, had more than 12000 likes, and had 375 comments. The comments section on this post is very different too. Here, the comments are more like a forum for a discussion of random people that are less into politics like the followers on Press Foundation. These users are more concern about the real existence of Snowden, and the debate is still about whether or not Snowden should be trusted.
Some of these comments are just hilarious with some users like Robin Watterson claiming that the administrator of Anonymous is Snowden himself to others like Eric Mason claiming that Snowden never existed ,
The analysis of Anonymous reveals that it has more than 5,500,000 followers, with an engagement rate of 8.34%. By comparison, Anonymous has more influence than Press Foundation and therefore, it has more success in supporting Edward Snowden. Another interesting fact about how Anonymous has a better strong impact is that the page reposted the same post about Snowden just 17hours after the first post in case some of the users did not get the chance to see it.
The repost did not get as much shared and like as the first one but, it got 500 more shares. This strategy allows more many people around the word to be supportive toward Snowden.
Overall, advocating for Snowden on Facebook seems very efficient in a sense that users can write lengthy comments as they want so they can argue on why Edward Snowden should be supported. Facebook groups and pages that are more focus on politics tend to have less influence than pages that do not target at a particular group. Whether it is on Twitter or Facebook, supporters of Edward Snowden are acting so that their hero will never be forgotten.