The majority of Armenian Facebook users are supporters of Armenian National Congress (HAK), according to Levon Zurabian, a senior figure in Armenia’s radical opposition movement.
Zurabian, who isn’t even registered in Facebook, told PanARMENIAN.Net reporter, that monitoring of the world’s largest social network carried out by the opposition force has revealed “great support” for the HAK among the population of Armenia. He than went on to conclude, that HAK supporters are educated people, who “have access to Internet technologies and social networks.”
Only a day after “Chorrord Inqnishkhanutyun” newspaper, strongly supportive of HAK, wrote that Armenian authorities are monitoring the internet and seeking out users who post status messages containing words like “revolution”, “rally”, etc.
This was followed by a flash-mob, with dozens of HAK supporters posting the word “revolution” in their statuses.
As the Armenian National Congress prepares for a key rally on February 18th, to commemorate the rigged presidential elections two years ago, which resulted in an unprecedented political standoff in the country, all this Facebook talk by the opposition amid scenes of Tunisian and Egyptian Twitter revolutions is not accidental. We will clearly see more Facebook talk on the rally, but will it help the Armenian opposition?
Popular social network attracts more and more Armenian users
Armenia is only 124th in the list of 213 countries by number of Facebook users, but the social network continued very strong growth here by doubling the number of Armenian users in the course of the past 6 months.
Currently there are 123,000 users registered from Armenia, which is something like 4% penetration in total population terms. So it is sheer utopianism to claim, as Zurabian did in his interview with PanArmenian.net, that social networks “provide great opportunities to overcome information blockade imposed by the Armenian authorities via total control of television.”
Important note: the number of Facebook’s Armenian users worldwide is much bigger, because the tracking of users is done based on IP number ranges and is limited by geography, not nationality.