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english, pdf - Albanian Media Institute
Albanian Media Institute
Instituti Shqiptar i Medias
Internet development
and social media
in Albania
Internet development
and social media
in Albania
Albanian Media Institute
Instituti Shqiptar i Medias
Tirana 2015
Internet development and
social media in Albania
Publisher:
Albanian Media Institute
Instituti Shqiptar i Medias
Albanian Media Institute
Rr. Gjin Bue Shpata, nr.8, Tirana, albania
Tel/Fax: +355 42229800
E-mail: [email protected]
www.institutemedia.org
© ISHM
EUROPEAN UNION
EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND
INVESTING IN YOUR FUTURE
This document has been produced with the financial assistance
of the European Union. The contents of this document are
the sole responsibility of Albanian Media Institute
and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting
the position of the European Union.
2
Internet development and
social media in Albania
After a slow start of the process of adopting the internet
technology, Albania has witnessed a remarkable growth
during the last decade. The privatization of Albtelecom
in 2007, the main operator in telecommunication sector,
along with some stimulating governmental policies and
the boost of private sector investments were the main
factors that brought about this growth by producing an
evident progress in the road of changing the society into
a “network society”, a terminology widely used nowadays
by researchers for the societies in the internet era.
1. Internet penetration in Albania
Based on the data from the International
Telecommunication Union quoted by internetworldstats.
com on June 30th 2014 the access to internet in the country
3
reached 60.10% of population1. This figure ranked Albania
to a higher level compared to some countries in the region
and also to its EU neighbours like Greece or Bulgaria.
The following table shows data in internet access in
neighbouring countries in the region:
Percentage of population with internet access in
Albania and its neighbouring countries
N0
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Country
Percentage of population
with internet access
Bosnia
and Herzegovina
Croatia
Albania
Greece
Italy
Montenegro
Bulgaria
Serbia
67.90 %
66.75 %
60.10 %
59.87 %
58.46 %
56.80 %
53.60 %
51.50 %
Source: ITU, Internet World Stats and the World Bank. (The respective
links are found in footnotes)
These data are confirmed by the World Bank as well2.
Based on these sources the internet users in Albania
during this period reached 1,815,145 out of 3,020,209
inhabitants in total. The global average access to internet
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats4.htm accessed on
06.02.2015
2
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2 accessed on
06.02.2015
1
4
during this period was estimated to be 42.3% of entire
world population, while the average in Europe reached
70.5%. This means that the country has to work harder
to reach this figure or to aim for higher European level
of internet access like that in Scandinavian countries,
Germany or other developed European countries.
1.1 The history of internet penetration in Albania.
The real boom of internet in global scale came as a
result of the implementation of the World Wide Web
project on May, 1991. This project converted internet
into a medium easily accessed for massive usage by
making it very popular rapidly. Only two years after the
establishment of World Wide Web, Albania would carry
out the first test of internet connection. The test started in
1993 and was undertaken by the Information Department
of Tirana University in cooperation with the EARN Centre
in Pisa, Italy3. The internet connection was carried out
through land lines (dial up) but due to technical difficulties
it was operational only for some months.
In 1995 UNDP invested on offering free internet access
mainly to NGO-s and some state institutions in Tirana.
Soros Foundation followed this example two years later
by offering internet services not only for NGO-s but also
for media employees.
3
Speech of Albanian representative at the International Telecommunication Union conference, Moscow, 2001. Available at: http://
www.itu.int/ITU-D/__e-strategy/internet/Seminars/Moscow/
Docs/Albania%20TRA%20note.pdf Accessed on: 02.02.2015
5
The first private ISP named Intellectual Communication
Centre was established in 19984. Shortly after three other
ISP-s entered the market: ADA-net, AbissNet and ABCom.
It has to be pointed out that two out of the four ISP-s were
established by companies that owned media outlets. So,
in the case of AbissNet the owner also controlled Shekulli
newspaper. Similarly, in the ADA-Net case, the owner also
controlled KLAN media group, too. This shows that actors
active in the media sector were among the first to be keen
to enter the internet market, too.
In 1998 the Parliament approved the law ”On
Telecommunications in the Republic of Albania.” On the
same year the Telecommunication Regulatory Unit was
established, which set up the institutional foundation for
new developments in this sector and preceded the strategic
privatisations and issuing of new internet, telephone and
mobile licenses5.
After 2000 a wider portion of the public started to
have access to internet, due to extension of ISP services to
Albanian family customers and the set up of private unit
services called “Internet cafes”. The access to internet was
slow due to the high costs applied for the service. Thus, in
early 2000s, ALBtelecom offered internet services with an
advanced payment for the installation equal to 500 USD
(VAT excluded), while the monthly bill was worth 400 USD
(VAT excluded) for 64 kbps internet and 600 USD monthly
for 2 Mbps internet services6.
Ibid.
Tartari, Alban, Interneti në Shqipëri dhe përdorimi nga media –histori dhe aktualitet, Studime Albanologjike, Botimi 5 “Historia e medias dhe mediatizimi i historisë”, Tiranë 2012
4
Ibid.
4
5
6
As mentioned above, the real growth of internet in
Albania started after the privatization of ALBtelecom
company in 2007, which brought about the liberalisation
the market
andtëreduction
for2012,
internet
services.
tëofçmimeve
të shërbimit
internetit. Deriof
nëprices
fund të vitit
kompania
kishte investuar rreth
150
euroof
dhe2012
vazhdon
të investojë
për zëvendësimin
apo zgjerimin
e rrjetit,
Bymilionë
the end
the
company
had invested
around
150për shtimin e
kapaciteteve në të gjithë territorin e vendit, për përgatitjen e infrastrukturës, për shërbimet më të
mln tëEuros
and keeps
up
investing
to improvesëor
expand
fundit
teknologjisë,
si dhe për
përmirësimin
e infrastrukturës
shërbimit
etj. the
Map of broadband
infrastructure
Harta e infrastrukturës
së lidhjes broadband
në Shqipëri
in Albania
Burimi: AKEP, 2012
Source: APEC, 2012, Link: www.akep.al
Rrjeti Backbone i Fibrës Optike të Albtelecom ka shtrirje dhe mbulim territorial në të
gjitha qytetet e Shqipërisë. Të gjitha pajisjet e transmetimit të Albtelecom janë të lidhura me
fibër optike në rrjetin unazor Ring Topology, për të garantuar dhe mundësuar transmetimin e të
7 Data IPTV, xDSL etj. Rrjeti Unazor shërben për
dhënave për shërbime të telefonisë, Internetit,
të lidhur një pajisje aktive transmetimi me dy drejtime të ndryshme fibrash optike fizike (FO).
network or multiply the capacities in the whole country for
preparing the infrastructure of latest technology services
and also improving the services infrastructure.
The Backbone network of Albtelecom optic fibre has a
territorial coverage for all cities of Albania. All Albtelecom
transmission equipments are connected through optic
fibre with Ring Topology network in order to guarantee
and enable transmitting the data for telephone, internet,
Data IPTV, xDSL services. The Ring Topology serves to
connect an active transmitting into two different optic
fibres directions (FO). If there is a physical damage in
one direction FO, then the information being transmitted
changes direction into second reserve direction in order
to reach the destination. Now the Albtelecom optic fibre
network is extended to over 3,000 km in country’s territory,
out of which 600 km is international network connected
with neighbouring countries. In 2007 when company got
privatised there were only 500 km optic fibre7.
The number of ISP has increased significantly and has
reached 116 in 20128. Mobile companies like Vodafone,
AMC and Eagle, which after 2010 offered 3G technology
for their customers, have also had a considerable impact
in spreading out and increasing broadband internet
penetration.
Based on a report from the Authority of Postal and
Electronic Communication (APEC) the number of the 3G
http://www.albtelecom.al/al/treguesit/87-rreth-albtelecom/
historiku/134-historiku
8
International Telecommunication Union, Strategies for the
promotion of broadband services and infrastructure: a case study on
Albania, September 2012.
7
8
broadband internet users in 2013 reached 1,231,259 out
of 283,249 in 2011. Meanwhile the number of customers
in broadband fix reached to 182,5569.
Due to certain initiatives of the Albanian government
during the last decade we have witnessed an increasing
of the scale of internet penetration in state institutions.
Based on the National Strategy of Technology of
Information and Communication drafted in 2003 and on
Inter Sectorial Strategy for the Information Society 20082013, programmes and projects like Gov-net1, Gov-net2,
E-government, E-schools etc were implemented, which
have brought about an improvement of infrastructure
of communication and information technology in state
administration and in public schools all over the country.
In the framework of Gov-net project, realised with
the support of UNDP and European Commission, the
ministries, state departments and some units of public
services (all together 26 institutions) were connected
through a network of optic fibre of high speed. Also every
institution has its own website and a number of services
are carried out online.
E-government program has brought about an upgrade
of public services through on line system for a number
of services like business registration, license issuing, tax
declarations or the digitalization of the address system
and population register which paved the way for issuing
electronic ID cards and biometric passports for the
9
AKEPAuthority on Electronic and Postal Communication), Annual
Report 2013, Available at: http://www.akep.al/images/stories/
AKEP/publikime/raporte/RAPORTI-VJETOR-2013.pdf
9
citizens. E-school project, undertaken in cooperation
between UNDP and MES, aimed at equipping the schools
with info labs and with access to internet. In January
2009 the Ministry of Education bought 2,000 laptops for
computer labs. The aim was to reach the level of 1 computer
for 25 students, with the starting ratio in 2009 being 1
computer for 45 students. The subject of the technology
of information and communication is incorporated in
the programs of elementary schools and the programs of
secondary schools are improved in accordance with EU
standards.
Albania has joined the Agenda for the Development
of Information Society, signed in October 2002, the
Memorandum for Broadband South Eastern Europe, the
Action Plan and the Declaration of the World Summit of
information Society in 2003, the eEuropa Action Plan
and e-SEE plus, signed on October 2007, and EU’s i2010
initiative.
1.2. Actual internet data of current capacities in
Albania
One of internet’s most important technical indicators
is its speed, which, according to its web site specialists,
is further divided in two aspects: internet speed in
downloading materials and internet speed in uploading
materials. The factors which affect the increase or the
decrease of this speed vary: slow internet services offered
by ISP, limited system capabilities, obsolete technology
applied, websites overload, etc. However, the main factor
that affects the internet speed is the level of speed offered
by the internet companies.
In order to have a panorama of the offered internet
speed parameters in Albania, below we can refer to a well
10
nga specialistët e teknologjisë së webit ndahet në dy plane: a. shpejtësia e internetit në
shkarkimin e informacionit (download) dhe b. shpejtësia e internetit në ngarkimin e
informacionit (upload). Faktorët që ndikojnë në rritjen apo zvogëlimin e kësaj shpejtësie janë të
ndryshëm: shërbimi i ngadaltë i internetit i ofruar nga ISP, aftësitë e kufizuara të sistemit,
aplikimi i teknologjive të vjetëruara, ngarkesa e tepruar e vetë websajteve, etj. Gjithsesi rolin më
të
rëndësishëm
në këtë kuadër
e luan niveli
i shpejtësisë
i ofruarAccording
nga kompanitëto
e shërbimit të
known
platform
of statistics
called
Netindex.
internetit.
the renowned portal pcworld.al, NetIndex offers data on
Për
krijuar një panoramë
rreth
parametrave
të shpejtësisë
që ofrohet në Shqipëri,
thetë download
speed
and
upload
speed insë internetit
local, national
po thërrasim në ndihmë një platformë të njohur statistikore në web, dhe pikërisht Ookla
and international
The
Netindex
graphic
below
shows
Netindex,
e njohur shkurt level.
me emrin
Netindex.
Sipas portalit
dinjitoz
pcworld.al,
NetIndex ofron
të
dhëna
për shpejtësinë
në of
shkarkim
(download)
ngarkim
(upload) on
në nivel lokal,
the
maximum
speed
download
for dhe
thenëwhole
country
kombëtar dhe botëror. Në grafikën e mëposhtme të Netindex, paraqitet shpejtësia maksimale e
25 October
2014,
was approximately
8 eMbps.
shkarkimit
(download)
përwhich
të gjithë vendin
në datën 25 tetor 2014,
cila ishte rreth 8 Mbps.
Print-screen of netindex.com, date 25.10.2014
Print-screen i netindex.com, datë 25.10.2014
Në rang
shpejtësia
e shkarkimit
(download) speed
për internetin
në të njëjtën datë
Atglobal,
a global
level,
the download
for broadband
broadband
ishte 21.2 Mbps, kurse shpejtësia e ngarkimit (upload) ishte 9.7 Mbps. Ndërsa shpejtësia e
internet on the same date was 21.2 Mbps, while the upload
speed was 9.7 Mbps. The download speed of internet for
mobile unit of this date was 10.4 Mbps, while upload speed
was 4.2 Mbps.
If we compare these global values, we see clearly that
Albania is still lagging behind from the global average in
relation to the internet speed. As we can see in the above
print screen, in Albania the download speed of broadband
internet on this date is 8.0 Mbps, while the upload speed
was 4.7 Mbps. Meanwhile the download speed of internet
for mobile units on this date was 4.7, while the upload
speed was 1.5.
11
Po të bëjmë krahasimin me këto vlera globale, atëhere shohim qartë se Shqipëria është ende larg
mesatares globale përsa i takon shpejtësisë së internetit. Siç e shihni në print-screen-in më sipër,
për Shqipërinë shpejtësia e shkarkimit (download) për internetin broadband në këtë datë ishte 8.0
Mbps, kurse shpejtësia e ngarkimit (upload) ishte 4.7 Mbps. Ndërsa shpejtësia e shkarkimit
(download) për internetin në pajisjet celulare në këtë datë ishte 4.7 Mbps, kurse shpejtësia e
Netindex
shows
ngarkimit
(upload) ishte
1.5. comparative data for various towns
of Albania. In the below print screen we have data of the
Netindex sjell tëfor
dhëna
krahasuese
për qytetet
e ndryshme
Shqipërisë. Në
print-screen-in
download
four
main edhe
cities:
Tirana,
Vlora,tëShkodra
and
më poshtë kemi një paraqitje të të dhënave të shpejtësisë së shkarkimit për katër qytete kryesore
Durresi.
As we can see in Tirana is offered the highest
në Shqipëri: Tirana, Vlora, Shkodra dhe Durrësi. Siç shihet në Tiranë ofrohet shpejtësia më e
speed
andzbritur
thengradualisht
movingnëgradually
madhe, duke
qytetet e tjera.to other cities.
Print-screen i netindex.com, datë 25.10.2014
Print-screen of www.netindex.com, date 25.10.2014
Pavarësisht nga këto vlera relativisht të ulëta krahasuar me vlerat maksimale globale, duhet thënë
Irrespective
se megjithatë,
shpejtësiaof
vjenthese
në rritjevalues,
nga muajiwhich
në muaj. are
Portalirelatively
pcworld.al kalow
publikuar matjet
compared
maximum
global
it bërë
haskrahasimin
to be said,
that të matjes së
e Netindex përto
Shqipërinë
në datën
8 prill values,
2014. Duke
e vlerave
shpejtësisë
në këtë
datë meisvlerat
e datës 25 tetor
2014, monthly.
duket qartë se ka një rritje edhe brenda 6
the
speed
offered
increasing
almost
muajve. Në tabelën më poshtë, paraqiten të dhënat për të dyja këto data si dhe rritja që rezulton:
Data on internet speed increase
Nr Shërbimi
1
2
N0 Service
Broadband Download
Broadband Upload
08.04.2014
25.10.2014
Rritja
6.7
8
19.4 %
4.4
4.7
6.8 %
08.04.2014 25.10.2014
Increase
Broadband
6.7
%
3 1. Mobile
Download
3.5
4.7 8
3419.4
%
Download
4 Mobile
Upload
1.2
1.5
25 %
4.4
4.7
6.8 %
2. Broadband
Siç del edhe
nga kjo tabelë, rritjen më të madhe e ka patur shpejtësia e internetit të ofruar përmes
Upload
telefonisë
celulare
mobile, e cila për 64.7
muaj është rritur34përkatësisht
me 34 %
%
3. Mobile dhe pajisjeve 3.5
(Mobile Download) dhe 25 % (Mobile Upload) duke reflektuar edhe trendin e përgjithshëm të shtimit
Download
gjithnjë e më të madh të numrit të përdoruesve që e aksesojnë internetin përmes pajisjeve mobile.
1.2
1.5
25 %
4. Mobile
2. Legjislacioni
Upload për komunikimin elektronik
12
The portal pcworld.al has published the Netindex
findings for Albania on April 8th, 2014 and it clearly shows
that there is an increase even within 6 month period. The
table below shows this.
As we can see the biggest increase belongs to internet
speed offered through mobile telephones and mobile
equipments, which during 6 months period has gone
up respectively 34% for mobile download and 25 % for
mobile upload by reflecting the general trend of increasing
number of users who access internet through the mobile
phones.
2. The legislation on electronic
communication
Based on a general evaluation, the Albanian legislation
guarantees the freedom of expression, including the
freedom of media, to a satisfactory degree. However,
in practice the implementation of legislation needs to
improve in relation to the general observance of these
laws by the state and public institutions and also judicial
practice has to comply with the principles of freedom of
expression.10
In relation to the legal adjustment of internet services,
Albania has undertaken special steps in accordance with
10
Balkan Media Barometer – Albania 2013. Available at: http://www.
institutemedia.org/Documents/PDF/FES%20-%20BMB%20
Albanian%202013%20book%20SHQIP%2007_12_2013.pdf,
Aksesuar date 15.01.2015
13
the demands coming from EU, mainly demands in terms
of meeting the conditions in order to become EU member.
One of these steps has to do with the approval of law no
9918, dt 19.05.2008 “On Electronic Communications in
the Republic of Albania” which is based on the regulatory
framework adopted by EU since 2003. This law stipulates
the establishment of e regulatory unit in the sector of
electronic communication, which was named “Authority
of Postal and Electronic Communication (APEC)”. This
institution has the legal obligation to observe the principles
of net neutrality in the field of electronic communication
in order to prevent the deformations of competitions and
to achieve the objectives of this law.
Besides the law on electronic communication, the
Albanian Parliament has approved some other laws that
regulate directly or indirectly the activity that goes through
the internet. In adherence with the European Convention
on Cybernetic Crimes based on law no. 10023 of dt.
27.11.2008 some amendments are applied to the Penal
Code which supplements the legal framework on the fight
against this kind of crime. Other laws that operate in the
field of electronic communication or internet are also the
law no. 10278 of 2010 “On Electronic Documents”, law no
9880 of 2008 “ On Electronic Certification”, law no 10128
“On Electronic Commerce” and also a number of bylaws.
Regarding the institutional framework besides APEC, in
Albania there are other institutions which are responsible
for the development of internet. For some years now the
Ministry of Technology and Innovation operates, but its
influence in the development of new technologies has
been modest. One of the institutions that have a saying in
drafting short term and long term strategies in the field of
14
which is based on the regulatory framework adopted by EU since 2003. This law stipulates
the establishment of e regulatory unit in the sector of electronic communication, which was
named “Authority of Postal and Electronic Communication (APEC)”. This institution has the
legal obligation to observe the principles of net neutrality in the field of electronic
communication in order to prevent the deformations of competitions and to achieve the
objectives of this law.
technology
of information
beenParliament
the National
Besides the law on electronic
communication,has
the Albanian
has approved Agency
some
other laws that regulate directly or indirectly the activity that goes through the internet. In
of
the
Information
Society
set
up
in
2007.
However,
adherence with the European Convention on Cybernetic Crimes based on law no. 10023 of the
dt. 27.11.2008 some
are applied to the
whichof
supplements
the legal
objectives
ofamendments
the strategies
in Penal
theCode
field
internet
have
framework on the fight against this kind of crime. Other laws that operate in the field of
been
accomplished
partly
in
Albania,
as
it
has
happened
electronic communication or internet are also the law no. 10278 of 2010 “On Electronic
Documents”, law no 9880 of 2008 “ On Electronic Certification”, law no 10128 “On
with
the
goal of
covering
Electronic
Commerce”
and also
a number ofwith
bylaws.internet access all schools
in the country.
Regarding the institutional framework besides APEC, in Albania there are other institutions
Balkan
(BMB)
which The
are responsible
for theMedia
developmentBarometer
of internet. For some
years now stresses
the Ministry of that
Technology and Innovation operates, but its influence in the development of new
in
Albania
themodest.
internet
blogs
notshort
obliged
technologies
has been
One of thepages
institutionsand
that have
a sayingare
in drafting
term
and long
term strategies
the field
of technology
of informationor
has been
National their
to
register
to inthe
state
authorities
to the
receive
Agency of the Information Society set up in 2007. However, the objectives of the strategies
permission.
there
havepartly
been
no moves
on the
part
in the field of internetAlso
have been
accomplished
in Albania,
as it has happened
with the
goal of covering with internet access all schools in the country.
of the state to hinder or filter the contents of internet,
The Balkanthe
Medialaws
Barometer
(BMB)
stresses
in Albania the
interneton
pages
blogs are
except
that
limit
thethatcontent
based
a and
legitimate
not obliged to register to the state authorities or to receive their permission. Also there have
public
interest.
experts
offilter
the
been no moves
on the part The
of the state
to hinder or
the Barometer
contents of internet,give
except a
thehigh
laws that limit the content based on a legitimate public interest. The experts of the Barometer
evaluation
to
Albania
in
this
aspect:
give a high evaluation to Albania in this aspect:
Source:
Balkan
Media– Albania
Barometer
Source:
Balkan
Media Barometer
2013
– Albania 2013
The experts of the BMB notice the positive effect of the
media and social networks on the freedom of expression
recently, by pointing out that many journalists and citizens
express their views freely in these networks, in contrast
with traditional media where certain unwritten rules are
applied.
15
3. The spectrum of social media in Albanian
online environment
The expanded capacities of broadband internet and
of Web 2.0 have reinforced and further developed the
characteristics and potential of internet and the web itself.
Web sites with Web 2.0 have the participation as one of
their innate features, which urges the internet users to add
values to one application, while they use it. The capacities
of Web 2.0 give the users the opportunity to go beyond the
consumption or receiving the information; they assist the
users to interact with the published content and to create
by themselves new content. Currently the personalization
of the website pages in adjustment with the requests and
individual tastes has become an irreversible trend.
The developments of the last decade have brought
about a wider embrace of collective intelligence and a
boom of social media even in Albania. In this review we
will tackle the main platforms of social media by dividing
them in these main groups: 1. Social networks, 2. Content
sharing platforms, 3. Blogs and, 4. Wiki platforms or
collaboration projects. This division is widely accepted by
the researchers of social media. But there are authors that
in social media category include virtual games and sites of
virtual world. However, these last are excluded from this
study.
3.1. Social networks
Due to the relative delay in internet penetration, the
world of social networks entered relatively late in Albania,
16
compared to many western countries. Because of this
delay the first networks like Classmate, Friendster, Hi5,
My space etc., could not be widely used by the Albanian
users. However, with the introduction of the Facebook
in the Albanian online space, the social networks soon
boosted their presence. The so far existing void was filled
in by the broad participation in Facebook. At present
Facebook is the most popular network in Albania. Based
on a search carried out inside the platform itself (on the
section “Advertise on Facebook”) the number of Facebook
Nga
një kërkim
i kryeratbrenda
vetë platformës
(te seksioni
për krijimin
users
in Albania
the beginning
of 2015
reached
arounde reklamës n
rezultonte se numri e përdoruesve të Facebook në fillim të vitit 2015, arrinte në rreth
1,340,000. Out of these users, 860,000 are males, while
Nga këta, rreth 860 000 janë 11meshkuj, kurse rreth 480 000 janë femra,11 duke nxjerrë
480,000
aretë females
. The number
ofNumri
malei meshkujve
users in përdorues të
lloj
mbizotërimi
numrit të përdoruesve
meshkuj.
Facebook
is
almost
two
times
more
than
those
of
është gati sa dyfishi i numrit të femrave. Edhe pse i referohetfemales.
pjesëmarrjes online,
Thoughedhe
it is
based
on online
participation
division
reflekton
natyrën
maskiliste
të shoqërisë
shqiptare. this
Ndarja
paraqitet në përqind
grafikën
e
mëposhtme:
demonstrates the masculine nature of the Albanian society.
The division is also shown in the chart below.
Përqindja e përdoruesve meshkuj dhe femra në Facebook
Percentage of male and female Facebook users in
Albania (January 2015)
Male
Female
Source: Facebook.com
Burimi:
Facebook.com
11
Source: Facebook.com
Nga i njëjti burim dalin të dhëna edhe lidhur me moshën e përdoruesve. Kështu, n
madh i përdoruesve, rreth 980 000 janë të moshës 18 – 34 vjeç. Kjo grupmoshë zë rre
17
numrit të përgjithshëm të përdoruesve të Facebook në Shqipëri. Një zhbalancim i til
flet edhe për një shkallë të lartë të “digital divide” mes grupmoshave të reja dhe a
vjetra.
The same source provides data related to the users’
age. The biggest number of users, around 980,000, falls
in the 18-34 years old age group. This age group occupies
73% of the total number of Facebook users in Albania.
This imbalance in age shows a high level of digital divide
among young and older population.
Facebook mania is a distinguished trait for most of the
young population. This explains the fact that the Facebook
website is the most visited one in Albania according
to Alexa index. The rate of penetration to this web site
compared to the number of inhabitants is closer to the
average of EU countries and higher than countries like
Germany, France or Italy. The factors that have influenced
this penetration are many, but a great influence is played by
the need for socialisation and the opening of the Albanian
society and the tendency of the youth to follow up the new
technologies and media.
The most popular Facebook pages are those of movie
actors, politicians, media, fashion, entertainment pages
and also some pages of IT companies. Thus according to
Socialbakers, the page with the highest number of fans
(1,760,182 fans) is the page of a computer company
followed by that of Ermal Mamaqi (artist) with 1,684,322
fans.
Socialbakers submits data on the classification
according to categories. Thus in the “Brand” category,
the Facebook pages with more fans in Albania are those
of some computer companies followed by the pages of
mobile companies like Vodafone and AMC. In the category
“Celebrities” prevail pages of well-known singers like Ermal
Mamaqi, Genta Ismajli, Bleona Qerreti, Alban Skenderaj
and Elvana Gjata. In the category “Community” tops the
18
chart a page titled “Jeta osht qef” with entertainment
and amusement content, followed by some fashion pages
and patriotic groups. In this category a rapid growth has
witnessed a page called “Cudira Shqiptare” that denounces
through photos and sketches, different aspects of the
Albanian reality.
The “entertainment” category is headed by three well
known TV shows like “Apartamenti 2XL”, “Big Brother
Albania”, and “Xfactor”. The media category is headed by
Top Channel TV website, followed by the online news
agencies NOA, Klan TV, the portal “Lajmi i Fundit”, etc.
The “society” category is headed by the pages of wellknown politicians like Sali Berisha, Edi Rama, and Lulzim
Basha12. An analysis based on the page order according
to categories helps to point out the tendencies of the
Albanian users in Facebook, the preferences that motivate
them, the interests and the topics on which they spend
more time. From this angle we can say that some of the
fields of information that attract more users in Facebook
are the new technologies, entertainment, humour, fashion
trends and political activities.
The next most popular social network is Twitter.
Twitter web site is ranked 34th among the most visited
web sites by the Albanians according to Alexa. It has to be
said that Twitter is considered by some research studies
more as a platform for micro blogging, than as a social
network. However, the perception for this social media in
Albania is more on a social network focus. For this reason
we are analyzing it in the framework of social networks.
12
http://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/facebook/pages/total/
albania/
19
tre politikanëve të njohur në vend, sipas radhës: Sali Berisha, Edi Rama dhe Lulëzim Basha.
Një analizë e bazuar në renditjen e faqeve sipas kategorive do të ndihmonte shumë për të nxjerrë
në pah prirjet e përdoruesve shqiptarë të Facebook, preferencat që i motivojnë ata, interesat që i
bashkojnë më shumë dhe tematikat për të cilat ata shpenzojnë më shumë kohë. Në këtë
këndëvshtrim mund të themi se disa nga fushat e informacionit që tërheqin më shumë përdoruesit
shqiptarë të Facebook janë: teknologjitë e reja, argëtimi dhe humori, aktivizmi politik, trendi i
modës,Below
etj.
is presented the index of ten most popular
Më poshtë paraqitet renditja e përgjithshme e dhjetë faqeve që kanë më shumë fansa siç paraqitej
pages
on07February
7, 2015,
according
to the Social Bakers:
ajo në datën
shkurt 2015 në renditjen
e Social
Bakers:
Burimi: Socialbakers.com
Source: Socialbakers.com, accessed on February 7, 2015
12
http://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/facebook/pages/total/albania/
Even if it comes after Facebook, based on level of usage
by the Albanian people, Twitter remains with limited
penetration level in Albania. The most visited page is that
of prime minister Edi Rama and it does not exceed 150,000
followers, a small figure if you compare it with the most
visited page in Facebook.
The success of the diffusion of the social networks
is closely related to the characteristics of each of the
social networks and also country’s cultural context. Thus
Twitter functions as a communication network, somehow
vertically, which means, in a sense, it is against the stream
of the social media typology, in general. The individual is
searching for its followers by being at an advanced point.
20
On the other hand this individual follows the others,
whom he chooses as leading point. The practice of twitting
eases somehow this verticality in relation and online
communication through Twitter, but does not eliminate it.
Twitter has a bigger audience in countries with
more advanced democracy, according to statistics. This
is explained to a greater extent due to the fact that in
these societies there exists a higher level of reaction and
idealization, and also a more developed culture of following
role models, including politicians. Meanwhile, in excommunist countries, people seem tired of being followers
and they prefer a more horizontal communication, like a
round table where there are no leaders. This explains the
fact that Twitter in Albania is less diffused compared to
Facebook.
On the other hand, Facebook, even though it often is
reduced to a personal level of communication, by creating
a network of friends, it becomes more horizontal and
offers to the individual more balance and convenience.
Among the other social networks, Linkedln is being
widely used recently and is considered more as a platform
to exchange information related to employment and other
professional interests. People register at Google + network,
too. But in both these networks the number of fans with
most visited pages does not surpass 1,000 people, making
these networks with low penetration in Albanian society
and consequently having only a slight influence on it.
3.2. Content sharing platforms
Capacities of Internet and of Web 2.0 have enabled
among others a broader public engagement in producing
21
content, which is delivered or exchanged online. This
participation has brought about the emerging of a new
information content known as “user generated content”.
The most outstanding platforms of exchanging content
generated by the users or professional media are those of
video-sharing and photo-sharing. Among them the most
renowned in Albania are YouTube, Instagram and Flickr.
After Facebook, the most used social media in Albania
is YouTube. The YouTube web site is ranked fifth among
the most visited web sites in Albania according to Alexa.
The prevailing content in Albania in YouTube includes
content created and delivered by professional media, such
as the TV channels of Klan TV and Top Channel TV. TV Top
channel in YouTube has the highest number of subscribers
reaching 108, 923, followed by Klan TV channel, with
60,083 subscribers, but Klan TV leads with the number
of uploaded video views and on February 7th, 2014 it had
around 70 million views, followed by Top Channel with
around 48 million views13.
In addition, channels of special programs or shows
have managed to reach a considerable audience. Among
them stands out Xfactor show of TV Klan, which reaches
48 million views.14
The following table depicts the ranking of main
Albanian YouTube channels according to Social Bakers on
Feb 7th, 2015:
Source: Socialbakers.com. Linku: http://www.socialbakers.com/
statistics/youtube/channels/albania/page-1-2/
14
http://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/youtube/channels/
albania/
13
22
një audiencë të konsiderueshme, mes të cilëve bie në sy spektakli “XFactor” i TV Klan që arrin
në rreth 48 milionë shikime.14
Më poshtë paraqitet renditja e kanaleve kryesuese shqiptare të videove në YouTube sipas
SocialBakers në datën 07 shkurt 2015:
Burimi: Socialbakers.com
Source: Socialbakers.com, accessed on February 7, 2015
Pavarësisht nga numri i lartë i abonentëve apo i shikimeve në kanalet e mediave tradicionale,
vështruar
në total, kontribuesit
të mëdhenj nëofYouTube
mbeten qytetarët
videot e in
tyre
Despite
the bigmënumber
subscribers
or meviews
origjinale apo me ripostimet e videove të shumta që ata shkëmbejnë me të tjerët. Në listën e
channels
of traditional
media,
theprejbiggest
contributors
kanaleve kryesuese
shqiptare të YouTube
shihen still
edhe disa
këtyre kanaleve
të qytetarëve si:
EndriM91
që
ka
mbi
870
mijë
shikime,
Romario
Tila,
Endri
Kasmi
dhe
të
tjerë
nuk shfaqen
in
YouTube site remain the citizens with their qëgenuine
me emrin e tyre, por videot e të cilëve arrijnë në qindra mijëra shikime. Por mbetet problem
postimi ngaor
qytetarët
që janë të mbrojtura
nga evideos
drejta e autorit,
cenuar
shpesh
videos
withi videove
the reposting
of their
thatduke
they
share
këtë të drejtë.
with one another. The leading list of the Albanian YouTube
channels also include some channels belonging to citizens
like
EndriM91, which has 870 000 views, Romario Tila,
Burimi: Socialbakers.com. Linku: http://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/youtube/channels/albania/page-1-2/
http://www.socialbakers.com/statistics/youtube/channels/albania/
Endri Kasmi and others who do not use their names, but
their videos reached thousands of views. Citizens posting
copyright-protected videos remain a problem, as they
often violate this right.
The practice of posting YouTube videos is also applied
by Albanian marketing companies and businesses,
who also use the posting of videos in YouTube as public
relations channel. In this respect the channels that most
stand out are those of mobile companies. During the last
three years the usage of ads at the beginning of YouTube
13
14
23
videos as a marketing channel has become a common
phenomenon. This practice is similar with the usage of ads
by the traditional media, which, to a certain extent, have
become exhausting to the audience. The researchers point
out that the application of this method by the YouTube
channels might cause visitors to abandon them.
Regarding the photo-sharing platforms, Instagram
is considered as the most used in Albania. One of the
reasons for this trend is also the increase of Internet
access through mobile phones. In a short period, the
website of Instagram has managed to rank 28th among
the most used websites by Albanians, according to Alexa.
The most frequent Instagram users are new age groups
and well-known artists and musicians. Even Flickr has
managed to have a certain popularity in the country, but
this platform is used mainly by businesses and less by
individuals.
3.3. Albanian Blogosphere
The largest number of blogs is created and hosted by
Wordpress and Blogspot platforms. According to Alexa at
the beginning of 2015 the Blogspot web site was ranked
41st among the most visited web sites by Albanians, which
shows that this platform is being widely used by Albanian
bloggers. Wordpress on the other hand is ranked 54th but
is growing rapidly, especially after launching its platform
in Albanian language.
Some of the most well known blogs in Albania have
been set up by journalists and media analysts, who are
using their blogs as a meeting point with their fans and
24
the rest of the audience. Among them the most renowned
is resplublica.al. This blog has been established on January
1st by distinguished media analyst Mustafa Nano. From the
legal point of view the web site functions as an activity of
NGO Respublica. Going beyond the nature of a blog, the
web site publishes information on the latest development.
Most of the readers’ comments go for the media analysis,
opinions and articles of
OPED style.
Another
active Well-known blogs and forums
blog in the Albanian in Albania
blog space is peizazhe. www.respublica.al
com (formerly known
as xhaxhai.wordpress. www.peizazhe.com
com) established by the www.peshkupaujë.com
researcher and media
analyst Ardian Vehbiu. www. perpjekja.blogspot.com
Besides Vehbiu’s own www.forumishqiptar.com,
writing, this blog also
www.lapsi.al
posts publications of
other
contributors,
who sometimes do not use their real name. The blog is
very engaged in political and social debates and is known
for civic engagement, too.
One of the first blogs in Albanian language which
enabled the establishment of the Albanian blogosphere
is also peshkupauje.com. It was set up on December 2003
by Penar Musaraj and Blendi Salaj. Part of its published
content is created by the staff’s blog and the rest from
articles and media analyses taken from other media outlets
online. Currently the blog is kept running by its founders
and other part-time contributors.
25
Also the well known media analyst Fatos Lubonja has
his own blog located at htpp://perpjekja.blogspot.com.
The blog publishes mainly articles and analysis of the
publisher posted in various media or written especially
for the blog.
On September 2014, two well known media analysts
Andi Bushati and Armand Shkullaku established their
blog, lapsi.al. The publishers consider it more as a news
portal, but in many ways it is similar to a news blog.
3.4. Wiki platforms and collaboration projects
The category of websites with user generated content
also includes the collaboration projects, which apply file
sharing method and enable the users not only to share the
content with the others, but also provide everyone with
the possibility to assist in editing or complementing the
published material. Of course among the Wiki platforms
the most well-known is Wikipedia. For nearly a decade
in Wikipedia there is a space in Albanian language.
Until February 7th 2015 a total of 52,154 articles in
Albanian were published in this space. All these articles
are contributions of Albanian citizens’ and institutions,
who want to enrich the content of Wikipedia in Albanian
language.
In relation to the contributors in Albanian language
Wikipedia notes:
The Wikipedia community in Albanian language
consists of 70,192 registered users, and 256 of them
have contributed at least with one editing during the
last month, while 12 of them enjoy the privilege of the
26
administrator. The users are part of an association where
all the members coordinate their actions to improve the
articles often by consulting in the convention, discussing
with one another but also by cooperating in various
projects15.
However, the information in Albanian language in
Wikipedia in some cases is not accurate and certain events
are covered not professionally. Even the contribution
to improve this content is limited as it is asserted by
Wikipedia newsroom itself, which confirms that during
one month period only 256 participants were involved in
editing.
4. Social media and journalism
Albanian news media are increasingly appreciating
the role of the social media as an important channel to
boost the audience, through increasing the referral traffic
which derives from this media.
During a survey with 39 representatives or media
managers, organized by the Albanian Media Institute, the
interviewees were asked: “How do social media contribute
to raise the number of visitors of your web site”. Most
answers indicate that in many cases the influence of social
media in increasing the audience is significant, as we can
see from the graphic below:
15
http://sq.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faqja_kryesore
27
the Albanian Media Institute, the interviewees were asked: “How do social media contribute
to raise the number of visitors of your web site”. Most answers indicate that in many cases
the influence of social media in increasing the audience is significant, as we can see from the
graphic below:
How helpful have social media been in increasing the
number of visitors to your website?
15
Source: Questionnaire-interviews with managers or representatives of
39 Albanian online media, organized by AMI in March-April 2014
http://sq.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faqja_kryesore
Most of media representatives (22 out 39) declare that
social media help a lot in increasing the audience of a news
web site. No one of them is sceptical in this judgement.
The only difference is noted in those media which have
not taken full advantage in profiting from social media,
and their representative’s answer is “somehow.”
Albanian main media have their institutional pages
in Facebook or Twitter and part of them have their pages
in other social media like YouTube, Google+, Linkledln,
Flicker, etc. The pages established by news media in social
networks are the meeting point of these media with their
fans, followers or friends. The media in the their web sites
lack the mechanisms to identify or collect in a common
space the readers and friends, as it happens in their pages
in social networks.
Based on the monitoring by the author of this survey
28
in August 2014 of six news portals, the following table
shows the establishment of media pages in different social
media.
News media and their presence in social media
by August 2014
N0 Website
1
2
3
4
5
6
top-channel.tv
balkanweb.com
shekulli.com.al
panorama.com.al
shqiptarja.com
albeu.com
Social media
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
√
Source: Monitoring conducted by the author of this report in August 2014
The pages of news websites in social media have been
an ideal tool to increase the audience of these websites.
Igli Gjelishti, web master of Top-channel.tv said in early
November 2014 that about 30 percent of the audience
of this website originates from social networks and the
recommendations or comments these networks make
on articles or video and audio materials present in the
website.
However, a problem of the social media pages is their
update, as it usually takes place slower than the update of
the respective website information. There are also cases
when less used social media in Albania, such as Linkedln or
Google+, the update might be delayed for weeks or months
in a row, losing the meaning of establishing such pages.
29
Besides setting up their own institutional pages in
social networks, the online news media are urging the
users to share with others articles or different materials.
Most of the websites offer the button “share” for the users,
which serves as a bridge to move from the website to their
individual profile and to share the article or the material
they were reading with the network of their personal
friends. On this case we have to point out a problem,
which is present in part of the Albanian online media:
some of them do not properly divide the role and function
of pages of media in the social networks and the role and
function of the “share” option. In the case of news media
pages in social networks, are precisely these media which
share with the friends network news or the latest info. On
the other hand, the “share” button that is offered for the
users in these web sites aims that the users share news
or materials with their friends. This distribution helps in
increasing the numbers of those being informed, related
to a news or material published on news web site.
Print-screen nga shekulli.com.al, datë 13.06.2010
Print-screen of www.shekulli.com.al, date 13.06.2010
Por me dizajnin e ri të aplikuar pak kohë më pas, këto opsione u pakësuan dhe tashmë në këtë
media online ekziston vetëm opsioni “share” në Facebook, Twitter dhe Google +. Ndoshta një
reduktim i tillë mund të shpjegohet edhe me
30faktin se praktikisht dy të tretat e mediave sociale që
ofroheshin për “share” në vitin 2010 nuk njiheshin asokohe dhe nuk përdoren as sot nga
përdoruesi shqiptar. Për këtë arsye në këtë websajt kanë mbetur vetëm tre rrjetet sociale që
përdoren më shumë sot në Shqipëri.
At the beginning, when this interactive technique was
offered by the Albanian media for its users, the enthusiasm
was high and windows to make “share” were countless. As
we can see in print screen below, in 2010 shekulli.com.
al offered share opportunities to 12 social media, part of
which the broad public was not familiar with at all.
However, with the change of design applied recently
these options were reduced and now in this online media
exists only “share” option in Facebook, Twitter and
Google+. Such a reduction can be explained by the fact
that at present 2/3 of social media offered for “share” in
2010 were
known at that time and are not applied by
int-screen nga shekulli.com.al,
datë not
13.06.2010
the Albanian users. For this reason in this web site have
or me dizajnin e ri të aplikuar pak kohë më pas, këto opsione u pakësuan dhe tashmë në këtë
remained
only “share”
three nësocial
networks
edia online ekziston
vetëm opsioni
Facebook,
Twitter dhemore
Google frequently
+. Ndoshta një
duktim i tillë mund
shpjegohet
edhe me faktin se praktikisht dy të tretat e mediave sociale që
usedtëin
Albania.
roheshin për “share”
në vitin 2010 there
nuk njiheshin
asokohepages
dhe nukthat
përdoren
as sotthe
nga
Meanwhile,
are also
offer
rdoruesi shqiptar. Për këtë arsye në këtë websajt kanë mbetur vetëm tre rrjetet sociale që
opportunity
to use a great number
rdoren më shumë
sot në Shqipëri.
of channels for “share”. Thus, topdërkohë vazhdon të ekzistojë edhe përvoja e përdorimit të një
channel.tv and panorama.com.
umri të madh të kanaleve për “share”. Kështu, top-channel.tv
al beside
the channels
for për
‘share”
he panorama.com.al,
përveç kanaleve
më të njohura
“share”,
Facebook, Twitter
dhe
Google
+,
që
ofronin
deri
në
vitin
2010,
through Facebook, Twitter and
vjeshtën e vitit 2014 ofronin edhe një numër shumë më të
Google+ offered till 2010, starting
adh kanalesh të tjera, gjithsej 294 kanale apo mundësi të
in autumne2014
theyapo
areinformacioni
offering anë
dryshme për shpërndarjen
një lajmi
ternet (shih figurën
në krah
– printscreen
nga top-channel.tv).
bigger
number
of other
channels,
andprirje
a variety
oftë
jatë viteve të altogether
fundit vihet re294,
edhe një
e përdorimit
to deliver
news
or
ediave socialeopportunities
si burim për informacionin
e mediave
të lajmit.
në shtuar rastetinformation
kur në mediat profesioniste
publikohen
foto apo
in internet.
(see print
deo të qytetarëve nga aktivitete apo ngjarje të ndryshme që
screene from
top-channel.tv)
jnë nga platformat
shkëmbimit
të përmbajtjes siç është
ouTube. Kështu, në Recently
rastin e përmbytjeve
në Jug të Shqipërisë
the tendency
of usingnë fillim të shkurtit 2015, mediat
ansmetuan në disa
raste
video
të
qytetarëve
nga
skenat
e përmbytjeve. for news media
social media as a source of information
the rise.
The
in the
professional
media
or përdorimin is
mëon
të madh
si burim
për cases
mediat when
profesioniste
të lajmit
mediat sociale
e kanë
tur në lidhje me
që vjen nga
apo statuset
e politikanëve
areinformacionin
posted photos
or politika.
videosDeklaratat
of citizens
from
differenttë
dryshëm në Facebook apo Twiter, tashmë shërbejnë shpesh si burime për lajmin politik.
formacioni që vjen nga profilet e politikanëve në rrjetet sociale po zëvendëson informacionin e
klaratave të shtypit të partive politike. Shumë politikanë, po e shmangin median si
31
dërmjetësuese në komunikimin me publikun dhe po krijojnë kanale të komunikimit të
ejtpëdrejtë në mediat sociale. Në këto kanale ata përcjellin reagimin apo qëndrimin e tyre për
activities deriving from the content exchange platforms
like YouTube have increased. Thus during the floods
in southern Albania recently, the media in some cases
broadcasted videos recorded by the inhabitants of the
flooded areas.
However, the social media are more frequently used
as a source of information by the professional media in
cases when the news was coming from the politics. The
declarations or the statuses of different politicians in
Facebook and Twitter, now often serve as sources for
political news. Information coming from the politicians’
profiles in social networks is substituting the information
coming from news conferences of political parties. Many
politicians are avoiding media as a means of communication
with the public and are setting up in social media direct
channels of communication. Through these channels they
give their reactions or attitude on different daily political
issues. Thus the practice of using as source of information
the status of politicians in social media is forming a kind
of journalism detached from field reporting and being
generated in front of the computers screens, instead. The
reliability and standards of this practice in journalism are
a cause for concern.
5. Social media and political communication
In order to upgrade the political communication, part
of the Albanian politicians have become active in social
media networks. The Albanian politicians are using the
web as a new channel of sending out the information
and the messages, as a tool to communicate with their
32
supporters to promote new ideas and projects, to reply
to the accusations of the opponents and also to call upon
their supporters to attend different political campaigns.
Internet also is assisting the politics to penetrate certain
layers of the society considered as difficult to reach out,
for example the youth. Directly or indirectly the political
message is penetrating on line youth networks as well,
especially in Facebook. At the same time the internet is
expanding in encompassing in the political debate other
layers of the society, contributing in this way to the process
of democratization of the politics.
In Albanian political communication, social networks
are widely used and are being considered as an alternative
way to communicate the daily message or to enlarge the
ranks of supporters. By recognizing the capabilities of the
online communities, the two major parties, Democratic
Party and Socialist Party, have created their own profiles in
Facebook. In DP’s Facebook profile till February 8th 2015
some 311,683 fans are included; while in SP’s Facebook
profile on the same date there are some 157,685 fans. Even
though the two main political parties have a considerable
number of fans in Facebook, still this number is smaller
compared to the number of fans the two party leaders
have. The former leader of DP has in his Facebook profile
more than 1 million fans, while the current Premier has
854,117 fans, and the leader of the opposition Lulzim
Basha has 549,813 fans.
The other social network – Twitter - is rarely used by
the DP and its leaders, while the leader of SP Edi Rama has
the largest number of followers in the country in Twitter,
with more than 150,493 followers. However Twitter
remains a network not widely used by Albanians, and
33
probably the popularity it has is due to the activity of Edi
Rama in this network.
In cases of electoral campaigns, the political parties
activate their channels in YouTube, Instagram and Flickr.
But their usage is relatively limited. So, DP’s channel in
YouTube contains only 240 video uploads.
The Albanian political parties in general use the social
networks to convey their daily political message. Through
the social political media they accuse their political
opponents, denounce their activity or decision making
process. Besides the reactions and constructive messages,
through social media networks, especially Facebook are
also offered insults and untrue accusations, or the social
networks are used for denigrated ads towards political
opponents.
In this Facebook battle, media and journalists are
looking after political prey to fill in later the news casts.
6. Social media and social activism
Following the global trend of increasing participatory
culture through internet, even in Albania online
communities are getting bigger and are playing an
important role in raising public awareness on important
social causes. The typical case can be illustrated with
the setting up of a social network in Facebook: “One
million Albanians against the dismantling of chemical
weapons in Albania” in November 2013. At that time the
Albanian government received a proposal from the USA
to allow the destruction of chemical weapons coming
from Syria, in its territory. This proposal caused some
34
kind of collective panic and revolt, based on the possible
risks deriving from this operation. On November 3rd the
Alliance Against the Import of Hazardous Waste and
some environmental associations staged the first protest.
The protest was significantly echoed in social networks.
On the same day in Facebook a page was established
for the movement “One million Albanians against the
dismantling of chemical weapons in Albania”. Within
two weeks of its establishment the movement managed
to collect 136,751 fans, meanwhile more than 150,000
people discussed about it and some 543 photos live from
the protest were published which were distributed in
several thousands online profiles16. Under the pressure
of this movement, which became popular through social
networks coverage, the government was forced to refuse
the US proposal to destroy the chemical weapons in its
territory.
Also some campaigns in protecting the environment
received coverage from social networks, like the campaign
against waste import from Italy and other campaigns
serving important social causes. However, social activism
in Albanian cyberspace is still in its initial stages and its
organizations are sporadic and temporary.
16
Observatori Europian i Gazetarisë, Linku: http://al.ejo-online.
eu/1665/mediat-e-reja-dhe-web-2-0/protesta-per-lendet-kimikedhe-revolucioni-i-mediave-sociale
35
7. Ethical problems of online media
Some of the main ethical problems that the social
networks and online media are facing nowadays in Albania
are related to invasion of privacy and personal data, and
with the usage of hate speech and verbal violence and also
the personal attacks or slander often taking advantage of
the opportunities offered by internet to remain anonymous
in online communication. It has to be underlined that the
space where these ethical violations are more frequent are
the spaces devoted to comments in blogs, social networks
and news websites.
The main problems to the comments remain their
content moderation and the filtering of unethical messages
appearing in social media and news websites. Nowadays
there is a debate in relation to the practice of the so-called
“News blogging”. Some authors view the comments that
come after the news as a way of blogging. For example,
according to Axel Bruns “news blogging is the practice of
commenting news through blogging, being it comment on
a genuine report or commenting news being reported from
other sources.”17 If we are going to consider the practice of
news commenting as a means of blogging, than we can say
this kind of blogging is widely used in Albania and is being
applied both in social media and in all news websites.
Online Albanian media use several methods to
handle the comments and their publication. Based on
a questionnaire with 39 directors and online media
representatives we have the following situation regarding
publication of comments:
17
Bruns, Axel, The practise of news blogging, Në: Bruns, Axel & Jacobs,
Joanne, Uses of blogs, Peter Lang Publishing, New York, 2007
36
Regarding the publishing of comments do you apply …
A
immediate automatic publishing without
moderating
5
C
publishing only after reading and
approval from moderator or editor
18
B
D
immediate automatic publishing followed
by moderating
we don’t have a comment section
12
4
Source: Questionnaire-interviews with managers or representatives of
39 Albanian online media, organized by AMI in March-April 2014
As we can see, the methods vary, but the majority of
media admit that they moderate the comments and only
five of them said they did not use any moderation, while
four others do not have any space for comments at all.”
But, it has to be said that despite of these declarations,
ethical problems are present every day in a great deal
of comments published in the Albanian news websites.
Only top-channel.tv maintains the ethical approach and
moderates each published comment.
A situation where unethical comments are allowed and
there is a lack of filtering becomes even more concerning
if we take into consideration that these comments appear
also in most visited online news sites in Albania. This
negligence generates a very negative effect in public. There
is no justification on the regress made on this topic by
some media like shekulli.com.al or balkanweb.com, which
until a few years ago have been more cautious and used to
37
follow a strict policy of filtration against cases of violation
of ethics. For example, in 2010, shekulli.com.al in cases
of unethical comments published only the name of the
commentator and in the comment space highlighted the
editorial note:”the comment has been deleted on ethical
grounds”. (see print-screen below)
Print-screen nga shekulli.com.al, datë 17.10.2010
Print-screen of www.shekulli.com.al, date 17.10.2010
Kjo media ka qenë ndër të paktat media në Shqipëri që ka patur në redaksi edhe një ombudsman
Thispormedia
fewmëinnëAlbania
that
had njerëzore të
për etikën,
prej disawas
viteshamong
ky post nukthe
ekziston
organigramën
e burimeve
kompanisë.
an ombudsman for the ethics, but for some time now this
Në
debatin lidhur
me këtëabolished.
problematikë In
shqetësuese
përsa
i takon
komenteve,
paraqiten arsye të
position
has been
relation
to the
debate
about
ndryshme, të përmbledhura më poshtë:
this
concerning
issue,online
the comments,
various
reasons
Së
pari,
shumica e redaksive
nuk kanë krijuar
ende asnjë
lloj kodiare
etike apo kornize
put
forth
as
below:
vetërregulluese për websajtin e tyre.
Së dyti,
një pjesëthe
e redaksive
nukofkanë
burimenewsrooms
njerëzore të angazhuara
- Firstly,
majority
online
have notposaçërisht me
moderimin
e
komenteve.
established yet any code of ethics or a self regulating
Së treti, një pjesë e lejojnë me vetëdije këtë situatë, me argumentin se komentet rrisin numrin e
framework for their web site;
vizitorëve të websajtit. Por ky argument i fundit bie, po të kemi parasysh faktin se websajti i
- më
Secondly,
parts
of top-channel.tv,
newsroomsderihave
lajmeve
i vizituar nga
shqiptarët,
në verënnot
e vitithuman
2014 nuk ka patur fare
resources
committed to moderate comments.
hapësirë
për koment.
Zgjidhja
më efektivesome
në këtoofraste
ështëdo
hartimi
i kodeve
të etikës
për mediat online. Një
- Thirdly,
them
it on
purpose
byedhe
claiming
shembull
në
këtë
drejtim
sjell
shqiptarja.com,
e
cila
është
e
para
media
online
që ka krijuar një
that the comments increase the number of visitors in
kod etike të plotë dhe bashkëkohor. Por, po kaq i rëndësishëm sa hartimi i kodeve të etikës,
the web
site. iBut
this
claim
falls down, if we take into
mbetet
edhe zbatimi
tyre në
praktikën
e përditshme.
consideration that the most visited web site news by the
8. Përmbledhje ekzekutive
38shënuar një rritje mbresëlënëse e nivelit të aksesit në
Gjatë dekadës së fundit në Shqipëri është
internet. Sipas të dhënave të ITU (Internation Telecommunication Union) të cituara nga
internetworldstats.com dhe Banka Botërore, më 30 qershor të vitit 2014 aksesi në internet në
vend arriti në 60.10 % të popullsisë. Kjo shifër e vendos Shqipërinë në një nivel më të lartë se
Albanians, top-channel.tv till summer 2014 did not have
space for comments.
The most effective solution in these cases is the drafting
of the code of ethics for online media. An example in this
respect is shqiptarja.com, which is the first online media
that has created a comprehensive code of ethics. Even the
implementation of the code of ethics in the daily routine is
important, alongside having one.
8. Executive summary
During the last decade Albania has witnessed a
remarkable level of access to internet. According to data
from the International Telecommunication Union, quoted
by internet worldstats.com and the World Bank on June
30th 2014 the access to internet in Albania reached 60.10
percent of its population. This figure ranks Albania to a
higher level than some countries in the region, even further
than some EU countries like Italy, Greece and Bulgaria. A
great impact to internet access growth is related to the
increased number of users that access internet through
mobile phones. According to an AECP report the number
of users of broadband internet 3G in 2013 reached
1,231,259, while in 2011 there were only 283,249 users.
While the number of users with internet access is
augmented, the speed of internet service is lagging behind
the global average, and even further behind to the average
of developed countries.
However the rise of the internet access level in the
country and of Web 2.0 capacities have brought about
increasing popularity of the social media in Albania.
39
Among the social networks the most used one is Facebook
with 1,340, 000 users at the beginning of 2015. Around
860,000 were male users and 480,000 were female ones,
showing the prevalence of the male users, nearly two
times more. This division reflects the masculine nature of
the Albanian society.
The majority of Facebook users are 18-34 years old.
This age group holds around 73 percent of the total number
of Facebook users in Albania. This kind of age imbalance
shows a high level of digital divide among young age group
and older ones.
The most popular Facebook pages are those of artists,
politicians, media, entertainment and fashion pages and
also pages of some computer trade companies. Thus,
according to social bakers the page with more fans
(1,760,182 fans) is the page of a computer company
followed by that of artist Ermal Mamaqi (1,684,322 fans).
Leaders of the main political parties, SP and DP, also have
a considerable number of fans.
Some of the information fields that attract more users
in Facebook are: new technologies, entertainment and
humour, political activities, fashion trends, etc.
The other social networks like Twitter, Google + or
LinkedIn have a relatively low penetration to Albania
society and as a result a low influence, too.
Among the platforms of content exchange the most
used one in Albania is YouTube. The YouTube website
is ranked fifth among the most visited web sites in
the country according to Alexa. In the Albanian space
in YouTube prevails content created and delivered by
professional media like Top Channel and Klan TV. Recently
an expansion is noticed by the platform of photo and video
40
sharing like Instagram. Both in YouTube and Instagram
the publication of photos and videos without the authors’
copyright remains a problem.
With the expansion and extension of internet, the
number of blogs and online forums in Albania went up.
The greatest number of blogs is created and posted to
Wordpress and BlogSpot platforms. The most visited and
distinguished blogs are set up by journalist or well known
media analysts, whom are using their blogs as a meeting
venue with fans and the rest of the audience.
Among the platforms known as Wiki platforms the
most distinguished one in Albania is Wikipedia. Nearly
a decade now in Wikipedia there is a space in Albanian
language, in which till February 7th 2014 were published
52,154 articles by 70,192 registered users. Sometimes
the information in Albanian language in Wikipedia is
inaccurate and events are not professionally treated.
Albanian news media evaluate the role of the social
media as an important means to boost the audience
through the referral traffic deriving from these media. A
tendency has been noticed during the last years of using
the social media as a source of information for news media.
The bigger use as a source for professional media of social
media news has to do mainly with information coming
from the political activities. However, the habit of using as
a source of information the statuses of politicians in social
media is forming a kind of journalism detached from field
reporting and generated through computers screens. The
credibility and the standards of this kind of journalism are
not satisfactory.
Regarding social activism, there have been some peaks,
like in the case of setting up in the social network Facebook,
41
the movement “One million Albanians against the
dismantling of chemical weapons in Albania” in November
2013. A kind of impact in social networks is exercised by
some awareness campaigns online towards environment
protection, like the campaign against the hazardous waste
import from Italy and other campaigns serving important
social causes. However the social commitment in Albanian
cyberspace is still in its initial phase and its organization
is sporadic.
Ethical issues remain a great challenge for social media
in Albania. They are present especially in the comments’
space, but also in various posts. Some of the most acute
ethical issues with which social networks and online media
are faced in Albania are those related with the violation of
privacy and personal data, hate speech, personal attacks,
slander and often taking advantage of the opportunity
offered by the internet to remain anonymous in online
communication.
The most effective solution in this case is drafting the
code of ethics even for the online media. An example in
this direction is shqiptarja.com, which is the first online
media to set up a contemporary code of ethics. However,
it is equally important to implement such codes in daily
practice.
42
Sources
• Authority of Postal and Electronic Communication (APEC)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
website: www.akep.al
International Telecommunication Union website: http// www.
itu.int/en/
Balkan Media Barometer – Albania 2013, AMI, Tirana
Internet World Stats Linkup www.internetworldstats.com/stat4.
htm
World Bank stats link: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/
IT.NET.USER.P2
Albanian representative speech in the ITU conference in Moscow
in 2001: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/__e-strategy/internet/
Seminars/Moscow/Docs/Albania%20TRA%20note.pdf
Tartari, Alban. Interneti në Shqipëri dhe përdorimi nga media –
histori dhe aktualitet, Studime Albanologjike, Botimi 5 “Historia
e medias dhe mediatizimi i historisë”, Tiranë 2012
Facebook website www.facebook.com
Social Bakers website www.socialbakers.com
European Observatory of Journalism: http://al.ejo-online.
eu/1665/mediat-e-reja-dhe-web-2-0/protesta-per-lendetkimike-dhe-revolucioni-i-mediave-sociale
Wikipedia: http://sq.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faqja_kryesore
www.respublica.al
www.peizazhe.com
www.peshkupaujë.com
www.perpjekja.blogspot.com
www.forumishqiptar.com
www.lapsi.al
43