The question of the Serbian tennis champion exploded when news broke on January 4 of a special permit that would have allowed Djokovic to take the field at the Australian Open., thanks to an unspecified exemption proudly posted on social media by the tennis player himself. After the intervention of the Australian Prime Minister, the number 1 in world tennis was refused entry into the country and, after filing an appeal, was locked up in a structure used to host ‘irregular’ travelers, sadly known for its precarious conditions. conditions of food and maintenance until the day of the trial, until yesterday when the tennis star won his legal battle and an Australian judge ordered his release. If “the case” may still not be closed, since the Australian government has reserved the right to exercise its power in denying the visa, the matter has had a worldwide echo.
So ANSA and DataMediaHub analyzed the online conversations (social + online news + blog and forum) on the subject to understand what was the prevailing opinion of people in this regard.
The online citations relating to Djokovic were analyzed, from 4 to 10 January, both worldwide and those only in Italian. In confirmation of how much the issue has had a hold on public opinion, online citations have been more than 2.8 million, by over 262 thousand unique authors, whose contents have involved over 22.6 million people. Volumes that obtain an ‘opportunity to be seen’ of over 58.358 billion impressions. Even if we reasonably estimate the actual reach compared to the potential for impressions at 5%, the actual exposures to contents related to the sample are approximately 2,917 billion, gross of duplications, thanks of course to the very wide media coverage. Just look at the hashtags most associated with online conversations on Djokovic to understand how, alas, the issue has turned into a clash between those who are in favor of the vaccine and those who are against it, with many of these tags in support of the tennis player.
If this is, in summary, the general panorama, our focus on conversations in Italian only offers further elements in this regard. In our language, online citations have been more than 159 thousand, by almost 14 thousand unique authors, whose contents have involved over 1.6 million people. Volumes that obtain an ‘opportunity to be seen’ of over 235.9 billion impressions. Even if we reasonably estimate the actual reach compared to the potential for impressions at 5%, the actual exposures to content related to the sample are about 11.8 billion, gross of duplications. Also in our country there was a battle between pro and no vax, as shown by the word cloud of the most recurring terms, with “the appeal won”, rather than “Djokovic won”, to head. And in fact, as the infographic with the detail of the data of our analysis shows, there are peaks of positive sentiment both in coincidence with the moment in which the tennis player thanked for the support obtained and after the announcement of the sentence that allows, at the current state of affairs, the player to stay in Australia.
It is no coincidence that on Facebook, always referring only to conversations in Italian, the post that generated the greatest number of interactions, and therefore the greatest involvement, is the one posted by Sgarbi in which the art critic praises Djokovic. But even the ANSA post, with the news about the doubts and the competence of the Australian government regarding the choice not to let Djokovic enter Australia generates a high level of involvement.
In short, as in the war between Guelphs and Ghibellines, the “Djokovic case” has become a battleground between those who think that their individual freedom is untouchable and those who believe they can sacrifice a part of it in the name of the common good of the community. The fact that at the same time the news of the four-year prison sentence for the former civilian leader of Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner, in part of the trial against him at the end of which he risks decades of imprisonment , is overshadowed says a lot about what the true idea of ’freedom’ is. But that’s still another story.