TikTok was the go-to social network for fans following the trial closely, with billions of views on video montages of court footage. Amber Heard’s testimonials are cut and re-edited, with the addition of sound effects and music in an attempt to ridicule her. We make fun of her facial expressions and her acting. On the other hand, we bring out the humor of Johnny Depp during the trial.
This bias is also felt in the keywords used. #JusticepourJohnnyDepp accumulates no less than 17 billion views on the platform, much more than the 53 million obtained by #Justiceforamberheard. The actress must also deal with the 658 million views that she accumulates #Amberheardisguilty, which leaves no doubt about the little credibility that she has with this public.
Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, to whom he was married from Theto 2016, for defamation for a column he published in 2018 in the Washington Post. She claimed to have become
a public figure of domestic violence, without mentioning Depp’s name. The latter strongly denies the accusations of his ex-partner.
According to Callum Hood, head of research at Center for Countering Digital Hate (New window), an NGO that fights online disinformation, however, it is difficult to distinguish the true from the false on TikTok. on the platform,
Very brief excerpts from the trial are withheld and presented with a strong bias. explains in an interview with CNN (New window).
Content on TikTok, more than any other platform, he adds, has no context. We tend to know less about the account behind the post, when it was posted, where the material came from, and the person’s motivations. […] It’s hard, with the information you have in the app, to understand the context and assess whether it’s true or false.
Support for Depp favored by algorithms?
In fact, the virality of the trial is fueled by the platforms themselves, according to Simon Thibault, a professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Montreal and a specialist in disinformation and online manipulation.
Algorithms will seek to feed us more and more spectacular, even incendiary, content to keep our attention. points out.
” There is satire, with memes, video and audio montages that make fun of the trial actors. There are also a lot of harsh and caustic comments, especially about Amber Heard. These are protests that help shape the debate online around this trial. »
According to Simon Thibault, we should not minimize the positions of very influential personalities on the trial, such as Joe Rogan, host of the podcast.
The Joe Rogan Experience is one one oneone of the most popular on Spotify.
He had very harsh words for Amber Heard, he explains. And this type of intervention there can help free the speech of some of its listeners who will then allow themselves, by emulation, to make even more virulent comments on the networks.
fake accounts used
Could such support for Johnny Depp be explained by the use of automated accounts, also called bots, for coordinated campaigns in favor of the actor?
Amber Heard’s team brought it up in 2019 when the actress filed her lawsuit following Johnny Depp’s defamation lawsuit against the actress. In particular, it is alleged in court documents: [carrière].”, “text”: “As part of his ongoing smear campaign, Mr. Depp and/or his agents acting on his behalf have run authentic and inauthentic social media accounts and/or bots controlled by non-humans, to attack Ms. Heard on the Twitter account and attempts to interfere with her [carrière].”}}”>As part of his ongoing smear campaign, Mr. Depp and/or his agents acting on his behalf ran authentic and inauthentic social media accounts, and/or non-human controlled bots, to target Ms. Heard. on the Twitter account and attempt to interfere with your [carrière].
But an Israeli company (New window), which specializes in spotting fake information and fake online accounts, partially deconstructs this argument. The Cabra company has examined the implicated accounts that participate in the online exchanges as part of this lawsuit.
According to the data collected (New window) at the end of April, 11% of the 2,300 Twitter accounts analyzed were not authentic. However, most of these fake accounts would be supporting Amber Heard and not Johnny Depp, according to Cyabra CEO Dan Brahmy, in an interview with Fox Digital News (New window)
To explain it, Professor Simon Thibault refers to
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This data shows that there would be fake accounts associated with each field, but that it would be more on the side of Amber Heard, he says. This is perhaps an illustration of the popularity of Johnny Depp, who has a group of fans willing to go out of their way to show their support for him and to do so online in very inelegant, even hateful ways.
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