In 2020, Catalonia was mentioned online internationally 100 times every hour

A study by DIPLOCAT compiles mentions on Twitter, in digital media and on blogs and forums

Since 2019 and on the instructions of its Plenary Session, DIPLOCAT has been monitoring Catalonia's presence in online conversations in order to find out who is talking about it and where, when and how they are doing it. "This is a really handy tool when it comes to mapping out strategies for international outreach," says Laura Foraster, secretary general of DIPLOCAT. "We combine it with others we have in place such as monitoring the international media and our survey about the international perception of Catalonia."

In 2020, from a purely quantitative point of view the number of mentions during the first eleven months of the year, which is the period covered by the study, came to 793,605. This includes mentions on Twitter (95%), in digital media (4%) and on blogs and forums around the world except for Catalonia and Spain. This equates to 2,376 mentions per day and 99 mentions per hour. The conversation about Catalonia reached 188 countries worldwide and a potential audience of 1.6 billion people.

As for the themes discussed, the four hot topics of 2020 were the evolution of Covid-19 in Catalonia, the disqualification from office of First Minister Torra, Catalonia’s political prisoners and Messi potentially leaving Barça. Other topics that made a strong showing were the imprisonment of Oriol Junqueras, Julian Assange's relationship with Catalonia, mentions of George Orwell's book "Homage to Catalonia", Storm Gloria, events on Catalan National Day and topics and photos to do with tourism.

In terms of the location of digital conversations about Catalonia, 61% were in the following countries: the United Kingdom (17%), Mexico (13%), the United States (11%), France (11%) and Argentina (9%). They were followed by Brazil (5%), Italy (4%), Germany (3%) and Belgium (2%).

The study also unpacks the general tone of the mentions which may be positive, neutral or negative. This is what is known as digital reputation. In this case, the majority of mentions were neutral (58%) followed by negative (26%) and positive (16%). The bulk of the negative mentions were about Covid-19 and the handling of the pandemic, while it is worth noting a majority of positive or supportive mentions concerning political issues (Quim Torra's disqualification, political prisoners, etc.).

The study additionally includes a comparison of Catalonia with other sub-state entities such as Scotland, Wales, Quebec, Flanders and the Basque Country. However, these data may not paint a true picture of the actual situation because while in the case of Catalonia all conversations in Spanish were excluded as they were seen as basically coming from Spain, in the case of Scotland and Wales, for example, only conversations geolocated in the UK were ruled out. The study shows that on a comparative basis Scotland gets 57% of the mentions, Wales 21%, Quebec 12%, Catalonia 5%, Flanders 4% and the Basque Country 1%.

Although the study covers the whole world, specific analyses were also undertaken for the following countries in their most widely spoken language or languages: the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia.

You can see the complete study and the country-specific factsheets, which were carried out by market research firm Nethodology, in the link below (in Catalan).