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Describing Alt-Right Communities and Their Discourse on Twitter During the 2018 US Mid-term Elections

  • Ańgel Panizo-LLedotEmail author
  • Javier Torregrosa
  • Gema Bello-Orgaz
  • Joshua Thorburn
  • David Camacho
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 882)

Abstract

The alt-right is a far-right movement that has uniquely developed on social media, before becoming prominent in the 2016 United States presidential elections. However, very little research exists about their discourse and organization online. This study aimed to analyze how a sample of alt-right supporters organized themselves in the week before and after the 2018 midterm elections in the US, along with which topics they most frequently discussed. Using community finding and topic extraction algorithms, results indicated that the sample commonly used racist language and anti-immigration themes, criticised mainstream media and advocated for alternative media sources, whilst also engaging in discussion of current news stories. A subsection of alt-right supporters were found to focus heavily on white supremacist themes. Furthermore, small groups of alt-right supporters discussed anime, technology and religion. These results supported previous results from studies investigating the discourse of alt-right supporters.

Keywords

Polarization Far-right Community finding Topic extraction Political extremism 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work has been supported by several research grants: Spanish Ministry of Science and Education under TIN2014-56494-C4-4-P grant (DeepBio) and Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid under S2013/ICE-3095 grant (CYNAMON).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ańgel Panizo-LLedot
    • 1
    Email author
  • Javier Torregrosa
    • 2
  • Gema Bello-Orgaz
    • 3
  • Joshua Thorburn
    • 4
  • David Camacho
    • 3
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Biological and Health Psychology DepartmentUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Departmento de Sistemas InformáticosUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain
  4. 4.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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