On the RT website under the heading “Investigation” appeared material under the heading “” Have a hearty meal “: why Runet is losing interest in FBK and Navalny”. The authors of the text published on behalf of the RT editors claim:
“As calculated by RT, November 2021 turned out to be one of the worst months for the Anti-Corruption Fund * (FBK) of Alexei Navalny in terms of the attention of the Russian Internet audience. So, according to the statistics of the service “Yandex Wordstat” ”, from November 1 to 30,“ FBK ”was requested in the search engine less than 19 thousand times. This indicator fell below only during the summer calm of 2020. Requests for the keyword “Navalny” also set anti-records: in the penultimate month of the year, 437,000 people were interested in news about the convicted oppositionist – this is the lowest number in a two-year period of statistical calculations. <…>
They were less interested in the Anti-Corruption Fund only in June 2020 – during the traditional summer lull. Then this figure was 18,138 searches for the keyword. Thus, by the end of 2021, FBK’s rating almost reached the level of the beginning of last year’s summer holidays.
The greatest interest in FBK was explained by netizens in January, the month of Navalny’s return to Russia after treatment in Germany. During this period, in many cities of the country, massive illegal actions organized by supporters of the opposition took place. The number of FBK requests then reached 189 945. <…>
Experts note that the interest of Internet users in Navalny’s team began to fall immediately after the initiation of a number of criminal cases of fraud against the oppositionist himself, as well as a high-profile trial of insulting a veteran.
So, at the time Roskomnadzor blocked Navalny’s main website in July 2021, the number of requests for FBK had already dropped to 34 thousand, that is, decreased nine times compared to January.
By December 2021, the number of queries for the keyword “Navalny” also significantly decreased – this figure fell to 437 thousand, which was the lowest number in two years of statistics.
Compared to the highest indicator for the year, interest in Navalny has decreased by 29 times (in January the number of requests was close to 13 million). “
The RT “investigation” also contains graphs showing the number of relevant search queries, but their interpretation is at least strange. Here’s how in two years in the search engine “Yandex” changed number of requests “Navalny”:
Here, two peaks associated with news stories are obvious: in August 2020, Navalny was poisoned; in January 2021, he returned to Russia after treatment and was immediately arrested, which caused massive protests; on the same days, Navalny’s investigative film “Palace for Putin” was released. It is interesting that in January Navalny surpassed Putin in terms of the number of queries in Yandex: 12 498 451 versus 11 210 038. But in those weeks when there are no such high-profile events, the number of search queries naturally returns to the base level. 437,382 requests in November 2021 are indeed the lowest result in two years, but already in December 491,841 requests were recorded, which exceeds the level of February 2020, so it would be correct to speak not of a drop in interest of Runet users to Navalny, but of a stable interest in between loud news stories.
A similar picture we we see and with the FBK request: a sharp rise in January 2021, followed by a fall to the baseline (and even somewhat lower).
But here the authors of the “investigation” did not take into account one detail, which probably seemed insignificant to them: the current tens of thousands of inquiries per month is an indicator of interest in a no longer existing organization. After the FBK in Russia was recognized as an extremist organization in June 2021, it had to liquidate. The same fate befell the Foundation for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights, created by Navalny’s team, to which the FBK brand was transferred.
Let’s try compare this is with Yandex statistics for other requests. Here, for example, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation:
There is an obvious increase in interest associated with the September elections to the State Duma, and a return to the base level, which, by the way, is half that of the “Navalny” query.
But inquiry “Liberal Democratic Party”:
The growing interest in the party in the summer of 2020 is obviously associated with protests in the Khabarovsk Territory against the dismissal and arrest of the governor Sergei Furgal, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. The second peak in popularity of the request is all the same elections to the State Duma.
And finally statistics at the request of “United Russia”:
The first peak – the May internal party primaries, the second – the elections to the State Duma. Interestingly, according to the logic of the authors of the “investigation” RT, the Russians also “ate from the heart” with this party?
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