Protest monitoring methodology

* Image source *

Protest definition

"A protest [...] is an expression of objection by words or by actions to particular events, policies, or situations. Protests can take many different forms; from individual statements to mass demonstrations." [Wikipedia]

At Coup Monitor, our interest is in monitoring the protest that include a physical gathering of people to express objection. Therefore, we consider an event to be an anticoup protest if it satisfies the following conditions:

  • A gathering of 10 or more people.
  • The demands express rejection of the military coup of 03 July 2013 which is inferred by the banners lifted, chants used, or the news reporting.
  • The event should last for at least 10 minutes. Some events are very short due to the existence of security forces or are dispersed very early. For example, quick events in Tahrir square.

Protest Categories

We categorise protests into 4 main categories:

  • Stand: A gathering of people usually infront of a building or at a neighbourhood. The gathering involves chanting and raising banners
  • Rally: A gathering of people marching from one point to another. This is similar to a stand except for mobility.
  • Human Chain: A chain of people formed along main roads with distances between people while showing slogans and banners to the vehichles passing by.
  • Other: Any other form of objection and may include but not limited to:
    • Marathon (while raising banners or wearint T-shirts to show objection)
    • Vehicle rally (while raising banners or wearint T-shirts to show objection)
    • Flash Mob

Sources of information

We rely on 4 main sources of information to gather anticoup events:

Types of media

The coverage of protests occurs using various media types:

  • Live streams: Commonly Bambuser livestreams broadcasted from the event locaiton. The advantages of such livestreams is that their date and time is documented and can't be tampered.

  • Videos: Timestamped videos are preferred since they show the date and time of capture.

  • Images: Timestamped images are preferred since they show the date and time of capture.

Collection procedure

The procedure to collect and count events is as follows:

  • Collect protest event data from our news sources.
  • Decode the data and extract the following information about each event: Event type, Governate, Location and organizer(s).
  • For each image in the report, run it through a reverse image search engine to verify that it had not appeared elsewhehre in the past. This is a quality control step that ensures that the image has not been used elsewhere in the past.
  • Detect and merge duplicate posts of the same event. Duplicates exist especially when relying on multiple sources. Sometimes duplicates exist within the same source as well. When duplicates are detected they are merged together with multiple links preseved. This improves the credibility of that event.

*Image: an example of identifying multiple features from across an image and a video. *