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Measuring Extremism: Validating an Alt-Right Twitter Accounts Dataset

  • Joshua Thorburn
  • Javier TorregrosaEmail author
  • Ángel Panizo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11315)

Abstract

Twitter is one of the most commonly used Online Social Networks in the world and it has consequently attracted considerable attention from different political groups attempting to gain influence. Among these groups is the alt-right; a modern far-right extremist movement that gained notoriety in the 2016 US presidential election and the infamous Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. This article details the process used to create a database on Twitter of users associated with this movement, allowing for empirical research into this extremist group to be undertaken. In short, Twitter accounts belonging to leaders and groups associated with the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville were used to create this database. After compiling users who followed these leading alt-right figures, an initial sample was gathered (n = 549). This sample was then validated by two researchers. This involved using a scoring method created for this process, in order to eliminate any accounts that were not supportive of the alt-right. Finally, a total amount of 422 accounts were found to belong to followers of this extremist movement, with a total amount of 123.295 tweets.

Keywords

Extremism Far-right Twitter Alt-right White supremacy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joshua Thorburn
    • 1
  • Javier Torregrosa
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ángel Panizo
    • 3
  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Biological and Health Psychology DepartmentUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Computer Engineering DepartmentUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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