Venezuela & Ukraine: Documenting the Political Strife on Social

The political turmoil in Venezuela and Ukraine has felt close to home despite the geographic distance. With the world becoming more interconnected more rapidly then ever, issues in one nation quickly become the concerns of another. Social sharing about the events in these two countries, hemispheres apart, have been a key factor in getting the international community engaged. Meanwhile, the social and overall content engagement trends are telling an interesting story.


With over 14 million sites using our tools, we have a unique view into worldwide content sharing and engagement patterns. We took a look at content engagement data related to Venezuela and the Ukraine between February 1st through March 5th, and the results show how people are using social media to focus on certain aspects of the events as they transpire and how the world is reacting to the news.

Ukrainian Protests All Over Social

The top shared content in Ukraine was content about the protesters’ stance seeking a change in government. In the U.S., the top stories shared about Ukraine had more of a domestic perspective on the foreign policy implications the White House is facing. Globally, the top shared content included a New York Times Minute video reporting on the breaking of the truce, and a Portuguese blog hosting a video of young Ukrainian protesters explaining why they’re on the streets, as well as a conspiracy theory about how it all began.


The most popular way of sharing content around the globe about Ukraine was address bar sharing (that’s copy/pasting the URL into any sort of medium), which is quite a typical behavior we see across the web. Facebook and Twitter came in second and third.

Venezuelans Protest Mightily on Facebook

Similar to the Ukraine, the top content shared was from the protesters’ stance, which included footage of a speech by the current president Nicolás Maduro juxtaposed with footage of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

On February 18th, the iconic leader of the opposition, Leopoldo López, released a pre-recorded video, which was planned to be published in the case of his arrest. It sparked an enormous amount of sharing within the Venezuelan population, making it the most shared page in Venezuela and the U.S. this month. Just a couple days prior, he published a short video message encouraging the protesters to keep pushing, which was also a viral hit, ranking third in the most shared content within the country and the U.S.


One of the most interesting data nuggets about the Venezuelan protests was that the most amount of sharing happened on Facebook––not address bar sharing. Twitter was a great driver of traffic, taking the lead for most click-throughs to content.

What’s the Takeaway?

Amidst the political turmoil in both countries, political opponents quickly take to the social media soapbox to disseminate on-the-ground footage along with reporting and opinion pieces despite gubernatorial attempts to limit Internet access, as in the case of Venezuela. But as we saw with the content virally shared, these two populations are making SOS calls and the world is responding by spreading their message.

Watching from the data sidelines, it’s eye-opening to see how the world interacts with online content.