The lead up to and in the wake of the executions of Bali Nine Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran saw social media platforms explode with users airing their sorrow, grievances and opinions about the situation.
Hashtags were used widely among the platforms, with social media agency Thinktank Social delving into the social media world to see which hashtags had the highest use.
Some 37 per cent of the Twitter activity came from Australia while 45 per cent came from the USA, reported Thinktank Social.
There have been 1.9 k #BaliNine and 4.5k using #Bali9 photo uploads on Instagram.
In the last 30 days on Twitter, there were 704 tweets by 577 users with an estimated reach of 2,001,918 people using the hashtag #BaliNine. They’ve received a total of 2,829,632 impressions. #Bali9 had 703 posts by 588 users with an estimated reach of 4,555,465 and 6,550,521 impressions.
The majority of the conversation on Twitter was generated from retweets, with only 21 per cent of the Tweets being original.
The notion of boycotting Bali too joined the social media ranks, with Thinktank Social seeing a number of photos uploaded to Instagram with the hashtags #boycottindonesia (504 photos) and #boycottbali (1000).
The hashtag #istandformercy was included in 21,300 images on Instagram.
One reason social media went crazy over the situation, suggested Sam Snowden, account manager at Thinktank Social, is because it was the only power people had to have a voice.
“Australians and social media users feel that they had no control over the execution of these people, and they are using social media as the voice to create a social movement to create change,” he said.
“The volume of social content, retweets and posts circulating social media is both a reaction from the public and an attempt to prevent this from happening again.”
News Corp’s The Australian is reporting the outpouring of commentary from Aussies represents a marked change from a decade ago where sympathy for drug smugglers was relatively absent (paywall).
“Isentia spokesman Patrick Baume said the swing in public support for the two changed even in the past three months, driven by media interviews showing their rehabilitation and giving an insight into their personalities,” reported The Australian.
Thinktank Social’s Snowden added hashtags such as #boycottbali aren’t going to help the social movement create change: “But doing your part to raise the awareness of socially conscious movements such as #istandformercy will,” he said.
“I think actor Brendan Cowell summarised the situation best before he deleted his Twitter account this morning due to negative criticism about his attempts to create change. ‘Apology if we came across desperate or ignorant. Just heartbroken’.”