Social Media Analysis: Full Face Protest

Last Sunday’s Full- Face ban protest created a huge buzz in media, today we analyzed the event and the steps the hosts of the protest took to organize it on our Social Media Analysis: Full Face Protest.

On March 2nd, then Police Spokesman announced that full-face helmets to be banned from 21 March onwards. However, later on with the involvement of the Minister of Public Order John Amaratunga the ban was temporarily lifted. This was  again changed on March 25th, with the Police announcing that the full-face ban will be effective from April 2nd. This created much controversy and criticism across both online & traditional media platforms.

Around 100 motorcyclists, gathered to Galle Face Green last Sunday (29th March) to voice their concerns over the Full-Face ban. Here’s what concerned motorcyclists had to say;

                                Source Daily Mirror

After the protest at the Galle face Green, they headed towards the Prime Minister’s office to hand over a signed petition against the ban, and they also demanded a meeting with the Prime Minister later to discuss this matter further.

Afterwards, they headed towards Minister of Public Order John Amaratunga’s house in Ja-Ela to hand over a copy of the petition. The minister promised the motorcyclists that he will personally look into the matter even though he can’t challenge a decision taken by the Ministry of Defense. This event can be defined as one of the most controversial youth protests of all time.

When we talk about motorcycles or other vehicles, road safety can be considered of paramount importance given the  number of accidents occurring on roads all around the world. A startling fact is that half of the world’s road traffic deaths occur among motorcyclists (23%). The most important safety precaution available for a normal motorcyclist is their helmet. Ideally, there are 2 types of helmets;

  • Open Face Helmets
  • Full Face Helmets

Both helmets have their own advantages & disadvantages, but when it comes to safety, the best choice is the full-face helmet according to professionals.

That explains why many motorcyclists were disrupted by this ban, their safety is at stake. But what’s amazing here was that, after announcing the ban on March 25th, within just 3 days the hosts of the protest managed to spread the news about the protest effectively through Social Media with a fairly impressive engagement rate. We’ve identified 2 Facebook pages and one Facebook event page that played a major role in spreading the word.

Technical Analysis:

1st FB page: We need Fullface- ෆුල්ෆේස් නැතුව බෑ

Commenced its operations on March 2nd, approximately 5.12 P.M

As at today, over 3,090 facebook fans

Engagement rate is at 49.65% (Projected percentage)

Ranked 58’ in the ‘Community’ Facebook category

2nd FB page: Full Face Helmet Voice – ෆුල් ෙෆ්ස් ෙහල්මට් උද්ෙඝා්ෂණය

Commenced its operations on March 3rd, approximately 10.32 A.M

As at today, over 1,640 facebook fans

Engagement rate is at 37.18% (Projected percentage)

Ranked 57’ in the ‘Community’ Facebook category

FB Event: ෆුල් ෆේස් හෙල්මට් තහනමට එරෙහිව කෙරෙන උද්ඝෝෂණය

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As can be seen, two thousand Fb users have joined the event, though this does not mean that all those 2k users participated in the event. However, the page does indicate how well organized this event was. Constant communication was seen in the last 2 days before the event among the admins and the page fans (More than 6 posts per day).

Motorcyclists from Colombo & suburbs, Galle, Kandy, Kalutara, Ambalangoda, Panadura were seen to be defining meeting positions to meet and head over to the event together. Banner designing to what to wear, everything was well communicated through the pages and the event page.

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                                            (Source: ෆුල් ෆේස් හෙල්මට් තහනමට එරෙහිව කෙරෙන උද්ඝෝෂණය FB Event page)

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