Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is the most popular presidential candidate in the May 2016 in social media.
Duterte, standard bearer of the opposition Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban), beat his four rivals in the race to Malacanang, based on “election-related conversations” about the coming election, according to social media giant Facebook.
“Election-related conversations,” according to Facebook, means any post or comment that contains highly specific and targeted keywords or hashtags related to either the election itself, a candidate, a party, or a specific topic that might be playing a large role in the election.
With the 2016 elections only three months away, Filipino voters have invaded Facebook Facebook to post comments about their candidates and their opponents and discuss election-related topics.
Aside from Duterte, who has front lined survey results for presidential preference by pollsters Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS), the other presidential candidates are Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), independent Senator Grace Poe, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago of the People’s Reform Party.
According to Facebook, 8.2 million Filipinos participated in election-related conversations from November 30 through February 15. This figure represents 16.7 percent of the 49 million monthly active users on Facebook in the Philippines, and has resulted in some 45 million conversations.
“Facebook is the destination for authentic conversation about politics. It’s a place for citizens to learn about candidates, for friends to debate political issues, and for candidates to reach voters,” said Elizabeth Hernandez, Facebook’s Head of APAC Public Policy.
“Candidates are using Facebook to reach citizens directly and personally. They are having unfiltered conversations about important public policy issues and getting honest feedback from voters.”
“Percentages are calculated as the number of unique people discussing a particular presidential candidate, out of the number of unique people discussing any of the presidential candidates,” said the company in a news release.
“Because many people discuss multiple presidential candidates, the percentages will have a sum greater than 100. The numbers are however useful for comparing the overall size of discussion for one candidate against another.”