#MoreThanARefugee: Hatred, Social Media & Analysis

Tom Tom
June 23, 2017 ・ 4 min read

What’s inside?

  • #MoreThanARefugee explained.
  • Community reactions.
  • Analysis based on a social media monitoring tool, including the number of mentions, social media reach, sentiment and engagement.

In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly Decided that from 2001, 20 June will be celebrated as World Refugee Day. On the occasion of the recent World Refugee Day 2017, YouTube launched a video hashtag campaign called #MoreThanARefugee.

The campaign quickly hit the headlines and spread online in the nick of time.

What Is It All About?

It’s been published by YouTube Spotlight channel which is YouTube’s original channel with 25 million subscribers. The channel supports various events, including YouTube Comedy Week, YouTube Music Award and aggregates trending content.

The campaign has been created by YouTube Creators for Change which is a global program aimed at tackling social issues, such as hate speech, extremism, or xenophobia. Here’s what YouTube says:

At a time when the internet is criticized for fueling division and distrust, we want to help demonstrate the incredible power YouTube has to generate a positive social impact.

They created the campaign together with the International Rescue Committee to shed a light on the lives of refugees, showing their struggles and hopes.

This humanitarian crisis has displaced tens of millions of people, and we hope these videos can help those of us who are not directly affected empathize with people experiencing life as a refugee. Parents and children, athletes and foodies, students and professors, businesspeople, artists and everything in between, these incredibly brave people have all been forced to flee their homes and endure tremendous challenges in search of safety.

The campaign tells 7 stories of people who happen to be refugees. YouTubers traveled to different parts of the world to meet refugees and hear their stories.

What’s The Fuzz?

What's The Fuzz?

Well, it certainly is.

The response from YouTube community is far from ideal. The video met with an extremely negative response from the community.

What's The Fuzz?

It’s clearly seen in the comment sections that oozes with hatred both towards refugees and YouTube which, supposedly, is deleting comments and changing likes to dislikes ratio.

What's The Fuzz?
What's The Fuzz?
What's The Fuzz?
What's The Fuzz?
What's The Fuzz?

It’s just a small sample out of almost 80 000 comments.

What’s the Buzz?

Using web and social media monitoring, we gathered plenty of data about #MoreThanARefugee. In Brand24, we’ve set up a project monitoring the hashtag. It allowed us to collect all online conversations including #MoreThanARefugee from social media, websites, blogs, news sites, discussion forums and more.

Volume of Mentions & Social Media Reach

Since July 20th, #MoreThanARefugee has been mentioned 6145 times. All conversations generated social media reach of 217 522 944 users. The biggest social media reach was generated on the day of the launch, that is June 20.

Volume of Mentions & Social Media Reach

It indicates that the hashtag was mentioned by authors and sources of a considerable social media reach and influence. Let’s have a look:Volume of Mentions & Social Media Reach

Here’s the answer: this high social media reach comes from YouTube channels:

  • YouTube’s original channel.
  • YouTube Spotlight.
  • YT Creators.
  • The Young Turks who are involved in the campaign.

During next day, June 21st, the social media reach decreases despite the increased number of mentions. It means that the topic was picked up by users with a smaller influence and social media reach, like me and you.

Volume of Mentions & Social Media Reach

In the next days, the number of mentions and social media reach decreased.


The majority of conversations took place on Twitter, followed by Facebook, Instagram, discussion forums and videos.



We can clearly see that the number of negative mentions is much higher than the number of positive ones.



It measures the number likes, dislikes, shares and comments.


Again, we can see that the top places belong to YouTube and its channels also in terms of engagement. In the fifth place, however, there’s a video commenting the case.



#MoreThanARefugee certainly backfired. Does it reflect the actual opinion of the majority? We leave the judgment to you.

On the other hand, if you feel like social media and web monitoring is something you need, try it out for free.

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