What Could Recent Cyberattacks On FC Barcelona’s Social Media Accounts Mean?
FC Barcelona continues to be linked with various social media issues. After the 13 Ventures scandal that was finally solved post-audit by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the club has been linked with yet another problem with its social media accounts.
What Does The Latest Report Say?
Spanish newspaper El Mundo has reported the findings of a study-report by the consulting firm, Deloitte.
According to the reporting by the Spanish daily newspaper, the study revealed that the social media accounts of FC Barcelona had been under cyberattacks through "bots" from "different communities," including a group related to a Catalan sovereignty called Elnacional.cat.
The scope of the study included data analysis of the total number of comments on the club's "social networks."
In the study, it was found that bots or "non-human users" comprised of 12.5 percent of comments made on club issues on its social networks. The data analysis also stated that the club got "20,000" negative mentions in a pool of almost "300,000" mentioned analyzed.
Furthermore, the Unidada-Editorial owned publication also stated that the study mentioned few Russian publications, some Real Madrid fans, and a group of Nigerian and Ghanaian social media users were raising their voices against the chairmanship of Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
The conclusion of the study was even more appalling. According to El Mundo, Deloitte explained that the objectives of the organized "bots" activities were to criticize the chairmanship of Bartomeu and demand his resignation; to overhype the 13 Ventures scandal; and to give pressure to revamp the other two essential structures of the club: Board of Directors and Manager.
"According to Deloitte, the objective of the strategy was to criticize the directors of the Barcelona board calling for early elections, the resignation of Bartomeu and Ernesto Valverde in his day, and oversizing the case of social networks that ended with the preparation of a deep audit by part of Pricewaterhoousecoopers that showed that no manager or executive had 'put their hand in the box' as suggested by RAC 1 by former institutional vice president Emili Rousaudand that from the club there had been no order to defame against players, former players, and opponents," reported El Mundo.
El Mundo report on Deloitte study: Josep Maria Bartomeu (left) and Ernesto Valverde (right) had been the targets of social media attacks
The study reported that these bots conducted 12.5 percent of the comments on FC Barcelona's social media accounts. The report also revealed that Twitter managers had removed five percent of the total automated accounts.
In addition to this, among the 300,000 analyzed social media mentions about the club, approximately 20,000 were negative ones targeted against Barcelona.
What Could This Report Mean?
This report by Deloitte could mean a few things depending on how you look at it.
This report could simply mean that many people from around the world do not like Bartomeu and the club's board members. It is evident that Bartomeu's reign at the club has brought more bad than good, and it is normal for him to come under scrutiny.
But since the Price Waterhouse Coopers audit cleared him, there seems to be no evidence to back attacks against him based on the 13 ventures scandal. Still, these strategic cyberattacks could suggest that external forces are trying to create unrest at the club, and in the Catalonian region as a whole.
FC Barcelona is an important part of Catalonia, and bringing unrest at the club can possibly lead to turmoil in the whole of Catalonia.
Lately. FC Barcelona have been continually facing problems, whether it be financial, administrative, sporting (dependence on Messi and aging squad), sporting, and social media aspects.
And all of such issues may bring down the morale of the players and the playing manager. Therefore, the club's board should be highly cautious of the reputation of the club and try to bring out appropriate measures in all the aspects of the club.
Fortunately for the club, there seem to be no financial ties to these attacks. However, it will be interesting to see what develops in the future regarding these findings.