print logo

Primetime for Facebook's "Ana asef ya Rayes"

Mubarak-supporting Facebook group fan base increases in proportion to Morsi’s actions and decisions.

Facebook-group “Ana asef ya Rayes” (“I’m sorry Mr. President”) was founded right after the 25th of January revolution, in order to morally support ousted President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak and “defend his history and honor at a time where others decided to taint it.”

What is remarkable about this group is how its fan base increases in proportion to current President Mohamed Morsi’s actions and decisions. Six months ago, Morsi was elected president as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and word has it that the Islamist group has been trying to completely take over Egypt’s politics. Prominent poet and “Mubarak-hater” Ahmed Foad Negm even wrote on his Twitter-account: “Morsi is improving Mubarak’s image in a way that Mubarak himself did not even dream of.”

Currently, the page has 734,731 fans, of which 73.2% are living in Egypt, according to Socialbakers. Monitoring the page’s behavior in the past three months, one notices certain milestones where a sudden increase of fans took place. Here are the most important occurrences:

1. Nov. 25th – 28th, 2012:
On November 23rd, Morsi issued a presidential decree “temporarily widening his powers and shielding his decisions from judicial review, drawing accusations he was behaving like a new dictator,” according to Reuters. Some clashes erupted, and on the 29th of November, a referendum on the newly-written constitution was announced, promising stability.

The events led to an increase of 27,624 fans.

2. Dec. 4th – 7th, 2012:
On the 4th of December, the date for the referendum was announced and mass protests headed for the presidential palace and clashed with police forces. 2 days later, clashes between the president’s supporters and opponents broke out, killing six in front of the presidential palace. Protests continued but gradually became less, and Egypt’s expats started voting on the new constitution.

The events led to an increase of 57,101 fans.

3. Dec. 13th – 22nd, 2012:
With protests still ongoing from the 13th to the 14th of December, the first run of the referendum took place on the 15th of December. “A statement from the opposition National Salvation Front [said] that voting malpractices meant a rerun was needed,” Reuters reported. It was believed that the Islamist supporters forged the first round of elections, in order to pass the constitution they wanted. The National Salvation Front also called for mass protests on the 18th of December. 3 days later, a major clash broke out in a mosque in Alexandria, with Islamists and opponents. The last round of the referendum took place on the 22nd of December.

The events led to an increase of 64,963 fans.

4. Jan. 14th – 16th, 2013:
On the 14th of January, the third train crash in Morsi’s reign killed 19 and injured 120 in Badrashin. Many hold the president and his government responsible for the incident.

The events led to an increase of 22,982 fans.

Yet, despite the massive increase in the group’s fan base, it seems like the engagement rate is continuously decreasing.

The changes happening on “Ana asef ya Rayes” show the world, how political happenings can affect the perception and mindset of people, and most importantly, how this can be measured via social media.