Idle No More has become increasingly quiet over the last two weeks, particularly since January 16. I noted to the media last week this might have been to take time to recharge and refocus, or perhaps to distance themselves from (and eliminate confusion with) Chief Theresa Spence whose liquid diet had apparently outlasted its effectiveness.
The drop in attention was probably a good thing. I’m fairly certain there was fatigue among the public in hearing about the movement as well as growing frustration brought on by the blockades. My ongoing analysis suggests there may have been fatigue within the movement also — a good time for a break and recalibration.
I suspect a lot of the fatigue on both sides stems from confusion over goals and messages which likely impacts the cohesion of the movement. A poll on IdleNoMore.ca shows there is work to be done if they wish to reach the undecided public and feel stronger about their own activities. The poll was launched January 3 when the movement was enjoying its greatest amount of energy and media attention, and remains open until February 3.
The following screen capture was taken yesterday by which time 3,190 people had registered their votes. Participation continues to rise. As of 10am today (January 27) here were 3,314 votes:
- 52% say “Yes, we are stronger than ever!”
- 35% say “No, there are divisions and the media is playing it just right.”
- 13% say “I’m not sure.”
Parliament resumes tomorrow. Chief Spence removed herself from the equation last week. The conditions are ripe for a surge in momentum tied to Idle No More’s World Day of Action scheduled for tomorrow, January 28. They are identifying the day online with the hashtag #J28. I’ve tracked 3,847 tweets tagged with #J28 (along with other Idle No More identifiers) since early January.
In case you missed it, I published a series of posts offering expanded Idle No More at two months analysis:
So, let’s baseline activity for the last seven days. All analysis was performed using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat.
There was a 45% drop in all online mentions from last week (from 154,703 last week to 85,762 this). Everything was down, including mainstream media attention. Twitter mentions dropped 44% (from 129,411 to 72,977), Facebook was down 45% (from 15,702 to 8,641), mentions on blogs fell 47% (from 1,689 to 903), online news articles dropped 53% (from 3,456 to 1,611), there were 60% fewer new YouTube videos (from 840 to 340) and mentions in online forums including Reddit fell the most; 64% (from 3,605 to 1,290).
While Chief Theresa Spence ending her six-week liquid diet was fairly big news, it wasn’t enough to gain on last week’s numbers. I suspect this was because her popularity peaked on January 11 — the day a group of First Nations Chiefs met with Prime Minister Harper and Chief Spence joined the group for a meeting with Governor General Johnson that evening. Online interest in Chief Spence began its plummet on January 12, falling 63% two weeks ago and a further 9% last week (from 5,490 mentions to 4,981). I expect this drop will continue and Idle No More can breathe easier knowing they can carry on without a distraction for the media.
Female participation increased 2% last week, balancing the scales a little more with men.
Within Canada, Ontario led with 30% of Idle No More mentions. BC and Alberta are virtually tied at 16% and 15% respectively. Québec follows with 6% of Canadian traffic.
Anonymous issued the most popular tweet of the week. Their tweet calling for an end to racism and sexist violence against indigenous women was retweet 296 time and was flagged as a favourite by 72 people.