Insights from Social Media on Gender in Latin America

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Aug 2017
Social media has become an increasingly important means of communicating for governments, practitioners, and activists in the Inter-American Development Bank’s borrowing member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This Technical Note, commissioned as part of the IDB’s strategic review of gender mainstreaming (Betts, Castillo Páez, and Kearney 2016), summarizes the relevant social media analysis methodology and reports the results of a pilot study to understand and describe communication related to gender issues on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico. The pilot was conducted over a month-long period in November and December of 2015. This Technical Note analyzes the timing, content, and network structure of the captured communications from each country. It finds that social media can be a valuable communication and listening tool, but that usage patterns vary substantially from country to country. Understanding the characteristics of the network is critical to understanding when to communicate, how to communicate, and with whom to communicate.