The Pirate Movement on Facebook and Twitter – October 2012

The Pirate Movement on Facebook and Twitter – October 2012

During the past 1.5 months the pirate movement has grown with 38 833 followers on Facebook and 5 847 followers on Twitter. This brings the total amount of people following a pirate party on Facebook or twitter to 587 852 people. 

This month I moved the recurring analysis to the beginning of the month instead of having it in the middle. It makes more sense measuring the numbers from month to month instead of half the previous month + half this month. I analyzed the followers in August and September and plan to keep looking at them once per month. Suggestions on what to measure for next month are always appreciated.


From the changes we can see that Sweden changed the most with their giant increase of 30 605 followers. On October 1st, one of the most important torrent trackers was shut down as part of a major raid in Sweden. This prompted the owners of the torrent tracker to re-direct their website URL first to the Swedish Pirate Party’s Facebook page and later to their member sign-up page causing a major rise in followers as well as a doubling of pirate members in Sweden. We have reported more about the details of this raid earlier in the Pirate Times.

From this significant increase, we can see that Sweden and Germany are now separated by only a few followers in the race for most popular Facebook page for a Pirate Party. This closeness follows a recent drop, in Germany of, -492 fans possibly caused by some internal troubles and the recent resignation of two of their board members. Other significant increases, that we can connect to specific events, can be seen in the Czech Republic after their recent elections (+1 106), Spain (Catalunya) after the declaration of new upcoming elections for Nov 25th (+533), Slovenia who just had their first General Assembly (+460) and in Belgium where they also had recent regional and municipal elections (+411).

This month I have also looked at the population statistics on Facebook to compare this with followers/citizens present on Facebook. From this we can see that Sweden has 0.0162 fans/citizens present on Facebook. Followed by the Czech Republic (0.00855) and Slovenia (0.00810). Germany is now only in seventh place. Another interesting stat to look at is the Facebook penetration (how many citizens of a country are present on Facebook) here we can see that Russia has only 5.13% of their population on Facebook ( being the more popular social media platform) but still takes a high spot on the total number of followers.

edit: Catalunya and Galicia are regions in Spain and I could only find facebook statistics for countries which is why they show as blank.

the pirate parties on facebook and twitter statistics


The Swedish follower growth did not spill over into Twitter and we see a much more moderate growth here (+364). A bit surprisingly we see that Germany has grown with 824 new followers despite their drop on Facebook due to recent internal struggles. Spain (Catalunya) sees a significant growth (+454) based on their upcoming election in three weeks. We also have the newly started Pirate Party of Norway coming in on place 41 with their 259 followers who will hopefully grow rapidly in the near future.

Last month I calculated the followers per capita in each country but the population row had accidentally been misplaced which caused many errors in the statistics. All of these errors have hopefully been corrected with the revised numbers below for this month. The population statistics were taken from a list on wikipedia which differs with a few years between different countries depending on when the last statistics were available. Luxemburg are first, counting followers per capita, (0.00359) mostly due to their low population. On second place we find Germany (0.00139) followed by Spain (Catalunya) (0.000716).

pirate parties on twitter social media statistics


*Why only Facebook and Twitter? Why not Google+, or others? – Mostly because it’s hard to know what other social networks to include. Only doing Facebook and Twitter takes a lot of time, even though there are scripts to update followers. The same reasoning goes for federated services such as as well since it’s hard to gather useful statistics for them.

*Can I have access to the .csv file you used for these stats? – Right now only if you have a very good reason and a specific purpose for them. I am working on updating contact information for different Pirate Parties. The plan is to make everything accessible in a good format with continuous updates. Giving out the information freely at this stage would only result in several versions of the document being in circulation where some are badly updated and faulty.

*Why is country X not included? – Probably because I didn’t know about it or considered their activity as dead. Send me a message or comment on this post and it will be included for next month

*Isn’t the follower/population very biased? – As all statistics numbers are biased in some way. Just measuring number of followers are biased to bigger countries. The follower/population obviously gives the initial country (Sweden) a bonus as well as countries sharing the same language. This is still an important alternative measurement since it shows relative impact of the social media account.

*Why did you not include local party X who is bigger than some countries here? – This is supposed to measure international impact. The reason Catalunya and Galicia are measured separately is that they are quasi-autonomous regions, independent from Spain.

 Featured picture: CC-BY Pirate Times adapted from Sean MacEntee CC-BY

edit: From the time of collecting statistics and proof-reading until this was posted PPSE has passed PPDE in number of Facebook fans.