Social media played a significant role in the way that Armenians and Azerbaijanis experienced this year’s brief war. Globally, people could follow military movements, drone footage, respond to statements by authorities and discuss the events. All of this activity provided leaders with instant public opinion that informed decisions.
Whose social media approach worked?
Armenia’s leaders have long been active and accessible online, especially in the 2016 democratic revolution that brought Prime Minister Pashinyan to power. But Pashinyan’s casual approach to social media may have led to muddled posts about the conflict. And there was a lack of coordination between Armenian authorities’ messaging that provided opportunities for misinformation to spread.
Conversely, the Azerbaijani leadership simply blocked or slowed access to social media platforms others during the entire six-week period, stating this was “in order to prevent large-scale Armenian provocations.” Savvy users quickly discovered VPNs to bypass the restrictions.
Azerbaijani officials in