During the period February – March 2020 we monitored following Lithuanian mainstream news websites 15min.lt, Delfi.lt, Lrytas.lt, Delfi.ru, Alfa.lt, and the fringe news website ekspertai.eu. News websites published articles in total 13575 which generated 95910[1] comments.

Quantitative data: number of articles, comments, other. February – March 2020

Media outlet/Website Number_of_Articles Number_of_Comments number_of_ips
Delfi.lt 3409 0 (cannot crawl comments) 0 (cannot crawl comments)
15min.lt 3955 11444 4929
Lrytas.lt 3000 75527 1
Ru. Delfi 1532 0 (cannot crawl comments) 0 (cannot crawl comments)
Alfa.lt 1200 0 0
Ekspertai.eu 479 8939 1678
Total 13575 95910 6608

Compare to the previous period – December 2019 – January 2020

Media outlet/Website Number of Articles Number of Comments No of Ips
15min.lt 4055 7375 3441
Delfi.lt 3241 0 (cannot crawl comments) 0 (cannot crawl comments, IPs)
Lrytas.lt 2949 50699 1(does not show IPs)
Ru. Delfi 1248 0 0(cannot crawl comments)
Alfa.lt 599 0 0
Ekspertai.eu 351 6887 822
Total 12443 64961

 

Number of Articles and Comments during February -March

Per month.

February

Media outlet/Website Nr_of_Articles Nr_of_Comments
Delfi.lt 1740 0
15min.lt 1946 7226
Lrytas.lt 1500 45101
RU.Delfi 888 0
Alfa.lt 600 0
Ekspertai.eu 248 4687

March

Media outlet Nr_of_Articles Nr_of_Comments
Delfi.lt 1669 0
15min.lt 2010 4218
Lrytas.lt 1500 30426
Ru.delfi 644 0
Alfa.lt 600 0
Ekspertai.eu 231 4252

Note.

Delfi.lt is the largest news website in Lithuania by the number of unique users and the time spent on the website, and generating comments. However, due to the changed structure of Delfi.lt  website we are not able to crawl the comments of the website at the moment.

Average of daily audience share by Lithuanian news websites. Delfi data of March 26, 2020

Media outlet/website Share of time spent in the website/day Unique number of users/day
Delfi 31.30% 792 748
15min 13.69% 52 162
Lrytas 13.65% 497 531
TV3 5.45% 425 854
Lrt.lt 6.04% 333 340
Diena.lt 1.4% 200 832

Delfi.lt

The quantitative trend of articles, comments and IPs remain unchanged: articles published in/by Delfi.lt receives the largest amount of comments according to Delfi (although we do not have the possibility to check this information as Delfi does not share this figure; Delfi have these figures for the internal use).   On the other hand,  15min.lt published the largest number of articles. It should be noted, that the Lithuanian public who looks for the quality information, appreciate 15min.lt website more than the media market leader Delfi,  as the former is a higher quality media website, with a greater part of quality reports, articles, with less a click-bite material as well as misleading headlines (differently from Delfi.lt.) In addition, 15min.lt has a strong investigative journalism section significantly contributing to the media quality. The website 15min is more popular among intellectual readers of Lithuania.

During the monitoring period 15min.lt received seven times fewer comments than  Lrytas.lt, which is the 3rd by the number of unique/real users and share of time spent on the website (see data at the end of the report).  15min website has the policy of commentators’ registration.  The policy ensures the quality of comments and impedes readers from spamming.

According to the data available, Lrytas.lt website is the second by number of comments generated during the period, although according to the number of articles, it is in the third position.

During the period of monitoring all comments are texts (written), no visuals, emoji’s or audio-videos.

The monitored period could be split into two periods: before (February) and during (March) the corona pandemic.

 

February – March

The topic that takes the absolute lead by number of comments (total 1454) generated during those two months is the court ruling in the highly resonance criminal case of the brutal violence and sexual assault (rape) against a teenager girl by her classmate teenager boy. The court sentenced the perpetrator for 3 years and 4 months, with a suspended sentence of 3 years.

The storm of comments voiced the indignation about the court’s ruling. Main topics of comments: criticism of the impartiality and objectivity of courts; nepotism in courts and regional and state institutions; allegations of the concrete family connections as the teenager perpetrator is the son of the local politician and his family relatives are judges (although in another district court); conclusions that the influential parents could help their son avoid responsibility, as happened and continue to happen in Lithuania; distrust in legal system; the resentment and anger about the Lithuanian society grooming such young people like this boy (now already 18 years old).

Other February topics (articles) that generated high number of comments:

  • The nostalgia for the Soviet times and positive valuation (praise) of Russian President Putin’s foreign policy voiced by the Russian language teacher during her classes at the high school – Vidunas gimnazija  in Klaipeda.

Comments highlighted the social exclusion problem in Lithuania. Commentators stated that the life was better in the Soviet times, everyone had a job, health care was good and free, prices were not high, could afford travelling to Odesa, Krym, etc;. Now people have to leave the country and seek higher earnings and better life abroad.

  • News about political parties. The Presidential candidate Ingrida Simonyte, the MP, who althougt non-member but belongs to the parliamentary faction of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (opposition), agreed to lead the Homeland Union in the Parliamentary election this autumn.

Comments split into those supporting Ingrida Simonyte and those who are against. The arguments against mainly focus on the criticism of the Homeland Party and its leaders Honorable Chair of the party Vytautas Landsbergis and the current leader of the party Gabrielius Landsbergis (grandson). Both types of comments and arguments are very similar to the comments when Ingrida Simonyte ran for the Lithuanian President Office. The supporters of the Homeland Union support her, while the opponents of the party are critical about Simonyte. Main criticism is not about her in person but about the alleged Homeland Union’s  mal-governance and caused social injustice, the Government’s negligence, poor governance, mismanagement and conscious indifference to the interests and needs of the ordinary citizens. The accusations stem from the times when the  Homeland Union were in majority and ran the country.

Also, there are comments that simply state “I will not vote for them and for her”.

  • Celebration of the Independence Day, February 16. The interview with the former freedom fighter generated comments which were either celebrating Lithuania’s statehood or other complaining about the social difficulties, social exclusion in current times.
  • The report on the first corona virus case by the number of comments received is in the fourth position (high). Commentators support the women who got infected during her trip to Italy and also appreciate that she went to the hospital and did not spread the virus.

Summing up the comments of February. Commentators prevailingly focused on home news and home events in the country: politicians’ behavior; developments within political parties; the violence in society, the police work and attitude (disrespect) to victims; unfair trials and unfair courts; corruption. Yet commentators paid little attention to the corona virus outburst in China.

In March the focus of commentators changed radically, namely, it has been prevailingly fixed on the corona virus spread and it’s fighting in Lithuania.

The comments could be grouped according to the topics commentators raised:

  • indignation and frustration about the poor status of the national health care system; mismanagement of the sector;
  • support to the medical doctors and medical staff;
  • comments directly attacking concrete persons, for instance, chief doctors or heads of key hospitals (namely, Kaunas and Klaipeda); alleged corruption, nepotism;
  • discussion of the very Covid19 and the rational of the self-isolation/self-quarantine and support for such measures;
  • discussion of the Governmental measures to help the country’s economy, employees, business;
  • criticism of the Klaipeda and Vilnius municipalities’ governance and criticism of meres’ management; accusation of the spread of the virus because of management incompetence.

These comments contribute to and augment the narrative of the domestic failure.

Worth noting that the corona virus outburst in China did not attract attention. This proves once again that local news and events are the key subject among commentators.

The tone of comments were  not aggressive, or “all denying/rejecting” and sounded as natural, authentic; they did not resemble provocations. However, among comments about the poor state of the national health care sector, there were few comments – sarcastic notes that the state should increase the budget of the national defense or the LT Armed Forces.

Even the comments provoked by the event when the Lithuanian teacher was attacked in the street by the Russian ethnicity influencer, were angry in a constructive way – against violence and sending the person back to the country, the citizenship of which he is.

Noteworthy to point that there is no correlation when comparing topics and themes raised by comments of this report and topics mentioned by the Debunk.lt  report “Disinformation Coronavirus in Facebook and on hostile Russian l-ge websites”. The analysis period is the same – March. The explanation can be following: commentators of the two reports are separate groups – different“ information bubbles” that do not interact and that there’s no a spillover effect of the hostile themes and topics. Or as the methodology of the Debunk.lt report is not known, also the interpretation of the data is too lose and too generic to trace down/identify similarities in topics and themes both reports.

Top 30 most commented articles in February and March.

Note. Titles of articles are quoted in Lithuanian

Article Title Media outlet Nr of Comments Date
Žiauriai 16-metę talžęs ir išžaginti bandęs Jurbarko politikų sūnus išvengė laisvės atėmimo bausmės lrytas 1454 2020-02-27T10:22:00.000+02:00
Italijos žiniasklaida: 80 proc. Rusijos paramos Italijai – beprasmė lrytas 789 2020-03-27T10:43:50.000+02:00
Klaipėdos Vydūno gimnazijoje neregėta mokytojos kalba – meldėsi už V. Putiną ir gailėjosi sovietmečio lrytas 787 2020-02-10T11:38:00.000+02:00
Koronavirusu užsikrėtusi kauniečių pora siekia atsitverti nuo visuomenės tylos siena lrytas 765 2020-03-13T12:04:00.000+02:00
Koronavirusas Kaune: užsikrėtė Italijoje atostogavusi šeima, į Lietuvą grįžo automobiliu lrytas 677 2020-03-11T09:57:00.000+02:00
Apie užsikrėtusius koronavirusu Lietuvoje – naujausios žinios: užfiksuoti dar 2 atvejai lrytas 675 2020-03-19T11:55:00.000+02:00
Lietuvoje – pirmasis mirties nuo koronaviruso atvejis, mirė moteris iš Ukmergės lrytas 671 2020-03-21T01:33:00.000+02:00
Užsikrėtusiųjų koronavirusu skaičius Lietuvoje perkopė 100 lrytas 656 2020-03-22T01:36:00.000+02:00
Lietuvoje – jau 27 koronaviruso atvejai: dar vienas užsikrėtimas Vilniuje, keliavo per kelias šalis lrytas 636 2020-03-18T10:46:00.000+02:00
Visagino mokytoją dėl lietuvių kalbos dėstymo gatvėje spardė tinklaraštininkas iš Rusijos lrytas 620 2020-03-05T12:02:00.000+02:00
A. Veryga jau piktas – įtūžo dėl lietuvių įgeidžių, kirto ir ligoninėms bei merams lrytas 620 2020-03-18T11:33:00.000+02:00
A. Veryga paskelbė apie du laukiančius kelius: turime apsispręsti lrytas 602 2020-03-25T11:24:00.000+02:00
G. Nausėdai – opozicijos pagalbos šauksmas: nori keisti A. Verygą, rodo į išskirtinę sergančių medikų statistiką lrytas 564 2020-03-23T11:24:00.000+02:00
Atviras režisieriaus Gintaro Varno laiškas G. Nausėdai, K. Mažeikai ir R. Karbauskiui lrytas 560 2020-02-16T09:29:17.000+02:00
2 nauji koronaviruso atvejai fiksuoti Kaune lrytas 545 2020-03-10T23:21:00.000+02:00
Po griežto S. Skvernelio žodžio – A. Verygos sprendimas: nušalina Kauno klinikinės ligoninės vadovą lrytas 545 2020-03-27T22:07:00.000+02:00
Įtampa tarp R. Karbauskio ir G. Landsbergio pasiekė naują tašką: „Būtų šlykštu kalbėtis“ lrytas 509 2020-04-01T10:54:00.000+03:00
Lietuvoje nustatyti 24 nauji atvejai, infekuotas Klaipėdos medikas lrytas 505 2020-03-28T10:13:00.000+02:00
A. Veryga ragina išvykusius į užsienį grįžti į Lietuvą, pirmadienį planuojama skelbti karantiną lrytas 477 2020-03-14T11:17:00.000+02:00
Skelbiama naujausia informacija apie pirmąjį koronaviruso atvejį Lietuvoje: izoliuoti dar 3 žmonės lrytas 448 2020-02-28T09:10:00.000+02:00
Nušalintas Kauno klinikinės ligoninės vadovas A. Naudžiūnas: „Visas pasaulis taupo ir čia nieko blogo nėra“ lrytas 421 2020-03-28T07:18:00.000+02:00
J. Jakavonis-Tigras: aš tikiu, kad jaunoji karta vėl eitų ginti savo Tėvynės, kaip tai darėme mes lrytas 409 2020-02-16T08:30:00.000+02:00
Pirmoji mirtis Lietuvoje nuo koronaviruso: kodėl tirta tik po mirties ir ką darys Ukmergėje, nustatytame židinyje lrytas 407 2020-03-21T10:16:00.000+02:00
Jurbarko politikų sūnui išvengus laisvės atėmimo, prokuratūra skundžia nuosprendį lrytas 402 2020-02-28T11:13:00.000+02:00
Raseiniuose – pirmas koronaviruso atvejis: žinią pranešė meras lrytas 392 2020-03-21T11:27:00.000+02:00
D. Grybauskaitė jungiasi į pagalbą – vadovaus specialiam dėl koronaviruso sukurtam fondui lrytas 389 2020-03-20T10:38:00.000+02:00
Didžiausią padarytą klaidą įvardijusi A. Širinskienė – apie nusivylimą kai kuriais valstiečiais lrytas 388 2020-02-14T10:27:00.000+02:00
Naujausios žinios apie koronavirusu užsikrėtusį panevėžietį: vyras – reanimacijoje, medikai dirbo be apsaugų lrytas 357 2020-03-17T10:35:00.000+02:00
Lietuvoje užsikrėtusių koronavirusu jau 437, tarp jų – Panevėžio ir Klaipėdos ligoninių pacientai lrytas 356 2020-03-29T08:48:00.000+03:00

 

Monitoring of the most reacted (positive/negative) comments

The monitoring of the most reacted (positive/negative) comments showed following tendency: the most reacted comments were about the brutal violence of a teenager boy against his classmate girl and the court’s ruling (the suspension of the sentence of imprisonment). Positive reaction to the comments expressed indignation to the ruling of the court, supported the comments about the nepotism, the impotence/ mal-governance of the state institutions. The reaction discloses the deep vulnerabilities   of the society– the absence of social trust. This could be easily used and abused for the provocation purpose. However, the vulnerabilities are nor created by the hostile party. It stems out of the state governance, the society and societal relations.

More information upon the request

The most active IPs

The tendency remains the same: the most active commentators (IPs) were of the fringe website ekspertai.eu. The most of comments were generated in Lithuania: Gargždai, Vilnius, Kaunas and Panevėžys, Klaipėda, Šialiai, Jonava;  one IP address is registered in Dublin, Ireland. See table below. The full list of IPs can be provided upon the request.

ip_address nr_of_comments city Portals/websites
88.119.234.132 277 Gargždai ekspertai
188.69.193.96 263 Vilnius ekspertai
89.116.124.39 218 Vilnius ekspertai
78.63.162.242 214 Panevezys ekspertai
5.20.244.73 190 Vilnius ekspertai,15min
88.223.147.41 185 15min
188.123.231.93 185 ekspertai
37.228.239.86 143 Dublin ekspertai
78.60.82.253 131 Alytus 15min
77.90.124.209 126 Jonava ekspertai
78.62.207.16 120 Kaunas ekspertai
78.57.130.78 117 Kaunas ekspertai
78.61.0.42 117 Vilnius ekspertai
78.58.225.231 107 Vilnius ekspertai
178.16.34.170 106 Kaunas ekspertai
88.118.163.49 95 Klaipėda ekspertai
78.58.110.126 90 Vilnius ekspertai,15min
88.222.22.88 88 Kaunas ekspertai
78.56.75.110 87 Vilnius ekspertai
78.58.233.247 87 Vilnius 15min
62.80.225.75 80 Šiauliai ekspertai
78.63.229.198 78 Kaunas ekspertai
188.123.231.66 70 ekspertai
78.63.105.127 69 Vilnius 15min,ekspertai
5.20.207.63 69 15min
31.17.252.100 67 ekspertai
94.232.229.7 66 Šalčininkai District Municipality ekspertai
78.56.79.247 65 Vilnius ekspertai
78.158.2.127 63 Vilnius 15min

 

Miscellaneous

On 2 April there were 1 433 217 real users of internet in Lithuania and their number grows. Delfi.lt is an absolute leader among news portals, with growing number of real users (916 906 users) and the increase in page views and visits. The second among news websites is 15min.lt (593 122 real users), followed by Lrytas.lt  news website (471 671 real users).  The number of real users, page views and visits of those three news websites fluctuates (increases and drops) as it is an online activity. The increase of users and visits is also caused by the current self-quarantine and people working from home during the corona pandemic.

Time share-Internet Real users Page views Visits
Internet 100% 1 433 217 53 203 588 9 911 590
Delfi 29.31% 916 906 11 504 022 2 592 090
15min 12.52% 593 122 4 776 803 1 273 106
Lrytas 12.12% 471 671 6 331 188 1 190 764
TV3 5.50% 401 738 1 925 036 744 566
LRT 5.71% 346 253 1 133 959 517 63
Lnk.lt 2.16% 31 760 173 024 42 180
Diena.lt 1.23% 196 239 714 547 263 371

Source: Lithuania, Gemius S.A.: gemius Audience, 2020-04-02

[1] Number of comments changes as it’s online