During the period from December 2019 to January 2020 we monitored five Lithuanian mainstream news websites 15min.lt, Delfi.lt, Lrytas.lt, Delfi.ru, Alfa.lt, and the fringe news website ekspertai.eu. News websites published in total 12443 articles which generated 64961[1] comments.

Quantitative data of monitoring; period October 1 – November 21

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

See below number of articles and comments during December 2019 – January 2020, comparing to the October – November 2019 period.

Delfi.lt is the largest news website in Lithuania by the number of real users and the time spent on the website as well as generating the comments. However, due to the changed structure of Delfi.lt

(and Alfa.lt ) website we are not able to crawl the comments of these websites at the moment.

Share of time spent on Lithuanian news portals by real users (%)
Delfi.lt 28.45
15min 14.24
Lrytas 13.56
lrt.lt 5.45
TV3 6.26

Delfi.lt 03.02.2020

 

The quantitative trend of articles, comments and IPs remain unchanged: articles published in/by Delfi.lt received the largest amount of comments although 15min.lt published a larger number of articles. It should be noted, that the Lithuanian public considers/appreciates 15min.lt website as a higher quality media website, with a greater part of quality media and a lesser amount of click-bite media than other media outlets (in comparison to Delfi.lt). In addition, 15min.lt has a strong investigative journalism section significantly contributing to the media quality. The website is more popular among intellectual readers and receives six times fewer comments than Lrytas.lt or Delfi.lt. This is due to the website’s policy of commentators’ registration.  The policy ensures the quality of comments as well as withholds people from commentating (spaming) as many do not like to reveal their identity (IPs).

Lrytas.lt website is the second in generating comments, although according to the number of articles, it is in the third position.

It should also be noted that all comments hold the content-text (very few have only emoji); prevailing majority are critical, categorical and sometimes aggressive messages. Hiding behind the computer’s screen allows people to spit out whatever they want without being shamed.

Although during the monitored period topics about domestic politics and events generated most of comments, also there was one international event – the US killing Qassemi Soleimani, a top Iranian general in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad that triggered a big wave of reaction.

The review of comments indicated that despite ideological differences between commentators – the extreme right (support strong Lithuanian identity and disapprove of immigration) and the extreme left (with pseudo Marxist views, who accuse the Lithuanian government of Russo phobia), – the dominating criticism was (is) about weak failing state, blaming the domestic failure. During the review, it was noted that commentators prefer not to debate and discuss the subject of the article but rather present their view in general.  The topics of the commentators remained unchanged during the entire “dialogue” or exchange of remarks. The contextual narrative of a domestic failure is created by noting such issues as the Government’s negligence, poor governance, and abuse of the position, nepotism, and corruption, absence of justice and fair trial, mismanagement and conscious indifference to the interests and needs of the ordinary citizens as well as their exposure to sufferings.

 

The most commented topics and themes were following:

  • The argument (row) between the MEP Ausra Maldeikiene and the former well-known Lithuanian basketball player Arvydas Macijauskas. Their quarrele over the seats on the flight to Vilnius was widely reported; also they shared their arguments on their social media accounts. Their communication was rude and insulting. The commentators condemned manners and ethics of famous people of Lithuania, also criticized the Lithuanian society.
  • International news/event about the killing of Iran General Soleimani. Dominated comments about the US – referring to the US as Yankees and accusing that the US is the same as Soviets, ‘Yankees get out of Iraq”, the US is a terrorist’s country. There were no discussion about the politics, or the situation in the Middle East.
  • The conflicting situation between the Prime Minister of Lithuania and the President about the competencies, professional ethics and moral compass of the Transport Minister. The politician Jaroslav Narkevic whose political party (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance) belongs to the ruling coalition, holds the Transport Minister portfolio, he came under criticism for the removal of board of Lietuvos Pastas (Lithuanian Post), the circumstances around living at the Seimas (Parliament) hotel and the allocation of funds for road paving leading to the Prime Minister’s house.  Although President Gitanas Nauseda has on numerous times called for the dismissal of the Transport minister but the ruling party in the Seimas and the PM refused. The topic will remain high on the agenda, as more politicians get involved into the issue and the Parliamentary election period is close to start. Commentators are split – pro and contra the Prime Minister’s behavior.  It is clear that the Transport minister is not the sharpest pencil in the box (Government); the nepotism and abuse of position by politicians is also noticed by commentators. Amongst other topics the inefficiency of Lithuanian governance, corruption, insufficient political system and the importance of Landsbergis’ influence were discussed.
  • The establishment of the non-formal movement against the Belarus-Russian Ostrovets Nuclear Power Plan led by the Honorary Chairman of the Homeland Party Vytautas Landsbergis caused the wave of comments. Commentators did not discuss the Ostrovets NPP but focused on the Conservative Party and Mr Landsbergis personality. The dominated messages were about anti- Landsbergis, anti-Conservative party and anti-political establishment.
  • The criminal case of the brutal violence of the teenager against a teenager girl, which struck all Lithuania, prompted extensive public debate. The topic generated the largest amount comments, the discussion focused on the cruelty of teenager; resentment and anger about such behavior, how comes that the Lithuanian society grooms such behavior, distrust in the legal justice, that influential parents could help their son escape responsibility.
  • Pulp fiction. Stories about Lithuanian influencers and celebrities, other local or national public figures: their holidays, divorces, wealth, gala events and award ceremonies, new houses, etc. The contextual narrative is about the success and happiness – being successful means being wealthy, good looking, enjoying life (luxury hotels, dresses, beauty/plastic surgery, etc.)
  • Neither the topic of the holocaust or the Kremlin’s (Putin) false accusation of Poland for starting the WWII or false collaboration with Hitler, nor the Ribentrop – Molotovo Pact topic triggered a broader discussion (about 100 comments per topic) among commentators.
  • The topics that were broadly discussed/commented during the previous period failed to attract attention of commentators now. Namely, the case of Ms Neringa Venckienė, a former member of the Lithuanian Parliament and judge who was extradited from the United States; nor the working conditions and atmosphere in the health care sector, nor the management of the large-scale fire in Alytus did not receive attention of commentators, although the topics were in the public discourse.
  • Neither were discussed/commented resonance topics that are covered by the mainstream media, such as, the issue of Russia’s influence on Lithuanian politicians: the parliamentary investigation of Lithuanian MP Irina Rozova, the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (LLRA-KŠS). The investigation was launched after it came to light that the State Security Department had recommended in a report to Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, that MP Rozova be denied access to classified information. Rozova and Russian diplomats discussed financial support for her party, the Russian Alliance

 

Top 30 most commented articles in December and January

Note. Titles of articles are quoted in Lithuanian

Title/article website number_of_comments
Prasidėjęs žiauriai 16-metę talžiusio Jurbarko politikų sūnaus teismas – už uždarų durų lrytas 759
Vytautas Landsbergis: „Lietuva yra užpulta“ lrytas 704
R. Karbauskio juodasis sąrašas: lrytas.lt pirmasis atskleidžia pavardes ir ryšius lrytas 640
Lėktuve – A. Maldeikienės ir A. Macijausko konfliktas: aidėjo aštrūs įžeidimai lrytas 558
Į kovą dėl milijonieriaus R. Karpavičiaus palikimo įsivėlę ir aukšti pareigūnai lrytas 537
Pasibaisėjo A. Maldeikienės ir A. Macijausko konfliktu: „Tai parodė, kaip gyvename“ lrytas 505
Q. Soleimani nužudymas: pasaulis bijo keršto, JAV siunta nesulaukusios palaikymo lrytas 498
Saulius Skvernelis: „Šį faktą turi žinoti visi“ lrytas 448
Iranui pripažinus, kad numušė Ukrainos lainerį, sureagavo V. Zelenskis ir Kanada lrytas 421
Turtuolio R. Karpavičiaus laidotuvių spektaklis: kodėl našlė skubėjo? lrytas 400
V. Landsbergis: „Visuomenei trūksta brandos, valdžios kelias veda į niekur“ lrytas 394
Griežtai R. Karbauskio paviešintą sąrašą įvertinęs G. Nausėda prisipažino apie kitą savo sprendimą lrytas 388
„Grigeo Klaipėdoje“ apsilankęs G. Pangonis: „Tai buvo turbūt juodžiausia diena mano gyvenime“ lrytas 354
„Žmonių“ apdovanojimuose pratrūkusi Indrė Stonkuvienė atsiprašė: „Neatsimenu, ką sakiau“ lrytas 350
Laisvės gynėjams atminti – atminimo laužai, tradicinis susitikimas ir oratorija lrytas 342
Į viešumą pateko Vilniaus policininkų darytas vaizdo įrašas – skandalas neišvengiamas lrytas 336
Turtuolio R. Karpavičiaus bendražygiai prabilo, kaip jį keitė sunki liga lrytas 334
Sukilo prieš S. Skvernelio šūkio registravimą: E. Jakilaitis pateikė ultimatumą, premjeras atsikirto lrytas 316
Kaune žaibiškai plinta žinia apie nuogą iškrypėlį ir dvi išniekintas mergaites: sulaikytas užsienietis lrytas 315
Gitanas Nausėda: Rusija visomis išgalėmis siekia perrašyti istoriją lrytas 286
Sociologas: S. Skvernelis kovos su G. Nausėda nepasvėrė – išryškėjo pasekmės lrytas 274
Už V. Putino manevro – aiškus planas: politologai paaiškino, kokį kelią jis numatė Rusijai lrytas 273
Ingrida Kazlauskaitė švenčia 36-ąjį gimtadienį: sulaukė neįprastos staigmenos lrytas 272
A. Širinskienė: pati iš konservatorių esu išgirdusi eik tu gal į šuns būdą lrytas 268
Poruojami Vidas Bareikis ir Indrė Stonkuvienė kartu išvyko atostogų: keliauja ir atlikėjo sūnus lrytas 255
Nauji vokiečių kariniai gaminiai 2-3 kartus aplenks rusišką artileriją lrytas 237
Iranas pradėjo erzinti JAV: po D. Trumpo griežto pareiškimo – kalbos apie „drąsos trūkumą“ lrytas 228
Akibrokštas restorane dėl kario uniformos virto tikru detektyvu lrytas 222
Nufotografavo Kūčių maistą ligoninėje: „Tegu vertina skaitytojai“ lrytas 219
Čigonų gaują demaskavę pareigūnai: „Iki paskutinės minutės tikėjome, kad rasime I. Strazdauskaitę gyvą“ lrytas 217

 

Monitoring of the most reacted (positive/negative) comments (see Annex)

The monitoring of the most reacted (positive/negative) comments showed following tendency: the positive reaction – support to the comments prevailed. Taking into account that comments were as a rule negative, the negative attitude was strengthened by adding additional “like”.

More information upon the request

 

The most active commentators

The tendency remains the same as before: the most active commentators (IPs) in December and January were of the fringe website ekspertai.eu. The most of comments were generated in Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas and Šiauliai, Šakiai, Gargždai, Klaipėda; one IP address is registered in Moscow, Russia and one in Ireland and one in UK.

See table below. The full list of IPs can be provided upon the request.

 

ip_address number_of_comments city country website
88.119.234.132 272 Gargždai Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
89.116.124.39 200 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
78.58.185.179 186 Kaunas Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
78.57.130.78 171 Kaunas Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
46.249.171.56 120 Šiauliai Republic of Lithuania 15min,ekspertai
92.243.166.42 116 Moscow Russia ekspertai
78.58.233.247 116 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania 15min
88.118.163.49 106 Klaipėda Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
5.20.244.73 100 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
178.16.34.170 99 Kaunas Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
85.206.112.194 99 Kaunas Republic of Lithuania ekspertai,15min
84.55.53.8 93 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania 15min
78.63.229.198 86 Kaunas Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
37.228.239.86 86 Dublin Ireland ekspertai
78.61.0.42 81 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
91.187.175.141 77 Panevezys Republic of Lithuania 15min
78.63.105.127 67 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania 15min,ekspertai
78.63.127.120 65 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
78.63.162.242 64 Panevezys Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
90.127.63.55 59 ekspertai
94.232.229.7 58 Šalčininkai District Municipality Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
5.20.134.123 54 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania 15min
78.58.225.231 53 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
188.69.194.221 51 Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
78.58.110.126 49 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
5.20.52.103 48 Alytus Republic of Lithuania 15min,ekspertai
78.56.79.247 48 Vilnius Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
78.62.55.176 45 Prienai Republic of Lithuania ekspertai
81.97.45.130 45 Peterborough United Kingdom ekspertai
88.223.147.41 44 15min

Most active IPs during December – January 2020

 

Miscellaneous

On January 4 there were 1 256 840 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 (684 083 users) and the increase in page views and visits. The second is the news website 15min.lt (454 754 real users), followed by Lrytas.lt  news website (335 923 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. We do not have sufficient data to determine whether the growth of visits to the news websites is due to the news coverage or due to commercial media and promotion campaigns. As news websites introduced the subscription to particular sections of news (quality information) it might be worth reviewing comments in these sections too if only websites’ system allows crawling.

 

Time share-Internet Real users Page views Visits
Internet 100% 1 256 840 47 626 779 6 529 639
Delfi 28.81% 684 083 10 788 802 1 526 483
15min 14.55% 454 754 5 715 912 870 895
Lrytas 13.30% 335 923 4 392 501 706 338
TV3 5.21% 256 292 1 211 841 401 162
LRT 4.99% 183 478 604 034 254 063
Lnk.lt 2.72% 44 567 118 420 51 865
Diena.lt 1.34% 142 593 613 468 11 631

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

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