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News: Social Programs

Venezuela’s Chavez Creates Twitter Mission

Merida, May 10th, 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – In response to the huge amount of messages the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has been receiving via his twitter account, he has announced a special mission to be able to respond to them all.

On Friday Chavez announced the creation of the social mission “ChavezCandanga”, named after his twitter account, and on Saturday he announced the creation of a special fund for the mission, a fund which would be orientated towards “areas of priority like health or housing”. 

“Look at this, it’s really like an avalanche, so I’ve decided to create Mission Chavez Candanga to attend to and provide responses to everyone”, Chavez wrote on his twitter account, referring to the large number of requests he was receiving. The mission involves a team of 200 people to process the requests, denunciations, and other comments.

ABN reports that in just over a week the president received 54,000 messages, and the news site recounted a number of stories of people who had written to the president’s twitter account and quickly been contacted and received a response and help.

Chavez reported that half the “tweets” he received were messages of support, 18.4% were “unfavourable” messages, 13.2% were requests for help, and 9.98% were denunciations of problems. He receives a lot of requests for help related to health, work and study, and even people reporting holes in roads.

After creating his account at midnight on 27 April, within just over a week, Chavez was the Venezuelan with the most followers, even obtaining more than opposition TV channel Globovision, who as of this morning has 237,548 followers while @Chavezcandanga has 267,028.

Venezuela’s opposition have accused Chavez and his government of repressing media and even seeking to control the internet. While the opposition owns a large majority of television, newspaper and radio media, the government has promoted the formation of alternative and community based media as well as initiatives that cross borders such as Telesur, and sees the latest twitter project as a move towards “democratising” the internet and taking back some space from the opposition.

Published on May 10th 2010 at 2.10pm