Two days of voting in Egypt’s first free presidential election drew to a close on Thursday, with official results due next week. Leading up to the vote, a Pew Research Center poll found that 67 percent of Egyptians were keen to bring in a democratic system with “specific democratic rights and institutions.”

The survey found that 62% of Egyptians put particular emphasis on a free press, while the overwhelming majority (81%) want a fair judiciary. Law and order was also found to be very important (60%), along with free speech (60%) and free elections (58%).

On JPost.com this past week, page view statistics showed that readers were more interested in dialogue around Iran's nuclear program than democratic developments in Egypt. Three of the top five stories related to US and Israeli efforts to halt Iran's atomic development, while a Jerusalem Post exclusive rescue tale took second place on the list.

JPost Top Five most-read stories:
1. US Senate Republicans block Iran sanctions vote
2. Israeli Everest climber saves Turkish ‘brother’
3. Police detain women at Kotel over prayer shawls
4. PM: No evidence Iran will end nuke program
5. PM: Iran must halt uranium enrichment, stockpiling

A separate PRC poll the previous week found that 66% of Egyptians were against Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, compared to 94% of Americans and 54% of Turks. There were no figures on Israeli opposition.

On the JPost talkback forums, meanwhile, a video released by non-governmental group B'Tselem showing settlers shooting at Palestinians drummed up significant conversation. Over one thousand readers posted comments about the clashes on JPost.com alone, and the YouTube video garnered over 130,000 views in less than a week.



The remaining stories on the most-active thread list related to international diplomacy and advocacy, with a poll revealing how people the world over view Israel and an EU document slamming recent "anti-democratic" legislation and muted responses to settler violence.

JPost Top Five most-active threads:
1. Video: Settlers firing at Palestinians
2. Poll: Israel viewed negatively around the world
3. EU issues second document blasting Israel
4. Austrian minister calls Liberman 'unbearable'
5. Column One: Let’s embrace our friends

Back on democracy, the presidential race in the US also continued to make noise, with 28% of Americans following related stories “most closely,” according to the PRC’s weekly News Interest Index. Seventeen percent of news coverage in that country was devoted to developing competition between US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Moving over to social media, Facebook made news rather than spreading it this past week, sparking significant discussion on new media and traditional channels alike. Repercussions from the premier social network’s botched initial public offering sparked significant discussion on Twitter, blogs and Facebook network itself. As the week wore on, more news coverage was devoted to requests for tens of millions of dollars in compensation from Nasdaq for trading-related losses.

Sticking with social media to wrap up, this photo from JPost.com's Jerusalem Day album on Facebook was the post that most interested fans this week. In fact, four of the five top posts were photos, inline with recent data which shows that images typically pull five times more social media engagement than Web links. This infographic from Pandemic Labs also explains that videos tend to be even more popular than photos on social media.

From news sites to blogs, tweets to videos, The Numbers Crunch is a weekly column which zooms out and brings you the big picture online, from Israel, the Middle East and around the world, and poll results from JPost.com.

The writer is the Internet desk manager at The Jerusalem Post

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