Advertisement

Who Is Shaping Your Agenda? Social Network Analysis of Anti-Islam and Anti-immigration Movement Audiences on Czech Facebook

  • Josef Šlerka
  • Vít Šisler
Chapter

Abstract

Šlerka and Šisler explore the audiences of Czech anti-immigration and anti-Islamic movements’ pages on Facebook and analyse them through social network analysis. The public debate on the immigration crisis on Czech Facebook is highly polarized, Šlerka and Šisler argue, and it is fragmented into different clusters, whose audiences rarely share the same content or overlap. The chapter uses new quantitative method called Normalized Social Distance that calculates the distance between various social groups based on these groups members’ online behaviour. Drawing on empirical evidence, Šlerka and Šisler demonstrate how social network sites create echo chambers and filter bubbles, thus strengthening confirmation bias. The methods proposed in this chapter could be adopted by a variety of actors to support their research or decisions with empirical evidence.

Keywords

Social media Facebook Social network analysis Normalized Social Distance Anti-Islamic movements Immigration crisis Czech Republic 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was partially supported by the Faculty of Arts of Charles University programs Progres Q15 and Primus/Hum/03.

References

  1. Agarwal, S. 2015. Applying Social Media Intelligence for Predicting and Identifying On-line Radicalization and Civil Unrest Oriented Threats. Arxiv.org. Accessed 4 May 2016. https://arxiv.org/abs/1511.06858
  2. Bakshy, E., S. Messing, and L.A. Adamic. 2015. Exposure to Ideologically Diverse News and Opinion on Facebook. Science 348 (6239): 1130–1132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Basalingappa, A., M.S. Subhas, and R. Tapariya. 2015. Understanding Likes on Facebook: An Exploratory Study. In IV. International Conference on Communication, Media, Technology and Design Proceedings, ed. Agah Gümüş and Fahme Dabaj. Famagusta, North Cyprus: Eastern Mediterranean University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bode, L. 2012. Political Information 2.0: A Study in Political Learning Via Social Media. Unpublished dissertation, University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2016. Political News in the News Feed: Learning Politics from Social Media. Mass Communication and Society 19 (1): 24–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bouchard, M., and P. Levey. 2015. Radical and Connected: An Introduction. In Social Networks, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, ed. M. Bouchard. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Bouchard, M., and R. Nash. 2015. Researching Terrorism and Counter-terrorism Through a Network Lens. In Social Networks, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, ed. M. Bouchard. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. boyd, d.m., and K. Crawford. 2012. Critical Questions for Big Data. Information, Communication & Society 15 (5): 662–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. boyd, d.m., and N.B. Ellison. 2007. Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13 (1): 210–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brundidge, J. 2010. Encountering ‘Difference’ in the Contemporary Public Sphere: The Contribution of the Internet to the Heterogeneity of Political Discussion Networks. Journal of Communication 60 (4): 680–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cilibrasi, R.L., and P.M.B. Vitányi. 2010. Normalized Web Distance and Word Similarity. In Handbook of Natural Language Processing, ed. N. Indurkhya and F.J. Damerau. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  12. Colleoni, E., A. Rozza, and A. Arvidsson. 2014. Echo Chamber or Public Sphere? Predicting Political Orientation and Measuring Political Homophily in Twitter Using Big Data. Journal of Communication 64 (2): 317–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Conway, M. 2012. From Al-Zarqawi to Al-Awlaki: The Emergence and Development of an Online Radical Milieu. Counter Terrorism Exchange 2 (4): 12–22.Google Scholar
  14. Dalgaard-Nielsen, A. 2010. Violent Radicalization in Europe: What We Know and What We Do Not Know. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 33 (9): 797–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dennett, D.C. 1996. The Intentional Stance. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  16. Ducol, B. 2015. A Radical Sociability: In Defense of an Online/Offline Multidimensional Approach to Radicalization. In Social Networks, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, ed. M. Bouchard. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Edwards, C., and L. Gribbon. 2013. Pathways to Violent Extremism in the Digital Era. The RUSI Journal 158 (5): 40–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ellison, G., and D. Fudenberg. 1995. Word-of-mouth Communication and Social Learning. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 110: 93–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Facebook. 2013. 12 Best Practices for Media Companies Using Facebook Pages. Facebook.com. Accessed 23 September 2016. https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-media/12-best-practices-for-media-companies-using-facebook-pages/518053828230111/
  20. Facebook Audience Insights. 2016. Accessed 4 May 2016. https://www.facebook.com
  21. Flaxman, S., S. Goel, and J.M. Rao. 2016. Filter Bubbles, Echo Chambers, and Online News Consumption. Public Opinion Quarterly 80 (S1): 298–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Goffman, E. 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Anchor Books.Google Scholar
  23. Habermas, J. 1989. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  24. Halavais, A. 2015. Bigger Sociological Imaginations: Framing Big Social Data Theory and Methods. Information, Communication & Society 18 (5): 583–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hegghammer, T. 2006. Terrorist Recruitment and Radicalization in Saudi Arabia. Middle East Policy 13 (4): 39–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Huckfeldt, R., P.A. Beck, R.J. Dalton, and J. Levine. 1995. Political Environments, Cohesive Social Groups, and the Communication of Public Opinion. American Journal of Political Science 39: 1025–1054.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ingram, M. 2015. Facebook has Taken Over from Google as a Traffic Source for News. Fortune.com. Accessed 23 September 2016. http://fortune.com/2015/08/18/facebook-google/
  28. Kosinski, M., D. Stillwell, and T. Graepel. 2013. Private Traits and Attributes are Predictable from Digital Records of Human Behavior. PNAS 110 (15): 5802–5805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lin, D. 1998. An Information-Theoretic Definition of Similarity. In ICML 98 Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Machine Learning, ed. J.W. Shavlik. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Manovich, L. 2011. The Promises and the Challenges of Big Social Data. Software Studies Initiative. Accessed 4 May 2016. http://lab.softwarestudies.com/2011/03/promises-and-challenges-of-big-social.html
  31. McPherson, M., L. Smith-Lovin, and J.M. Cook. 2001. Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks. Annual Review of Sociology 27: 415–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Neumann, P. 2013. The Trouble with Radicalization. International Affairs 89 (4): 873–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Obar, J.A., and S. Wildman. 2015. Social Media Definition and the Governance Challenge: An Introduction to the Special Issue. Telecommunications Policy 39 (9): 745–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pariser, E. 2011. The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. London: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  35. Parse.ly. 2015. Authority Report: The State of Tags in Digital Media. Parsely.com . Accessed 23 September 2016. http://www.parsely.com/resources/authority-report-8/
  36. Pelletier, M., and A. Horky. 2013. The Anatomy of a Facebook Like: An Exploratory Study of Antecedents and Outcomes. Annals of the Society for Marketing Advances 25: 207–208.Google Scholar
  37. Rainie, L., and B. Wellman. 2012. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  38. Sageman, M., ed. 2004. Understanding Terror Networks. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  39. ———., ed. 2008. Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  40. Schmid, A.P. 2013. Radicalisation, De-Radicalisation, Counter-Radicalisation: A Conceptual Discussion and Literature Review. ICCT Research Paper, March, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague. Accessed 28 May 2016. https://www.icct.nl/download/file/ICCT-Schmid-Radicalisation-De-Radicalisation-Counter-Radicalisation-March-2013.pdf
  41. Šlerka, J. 2013. Jak se fanoušci politických stran liší—politické strany na Facebooku (2.). Data Boutique. Accessed 4 May 2016. http://databoutique.cz/post/62064377499
  42. ———. 2016. Polarizovaná společnost? Nikoli, je to složitější. ReporterMagazin.cz, 23 September. Accessed 23 September 2016. http://reportermagazin.cz/polarizovana-spolecnost-nikoli-je-to-slozitejsi/
  43. Šlerka, J., and V. Šisler. 2017. Normalized Social Distance: Quantitative Analysis of Religion-centered Gaming Pages on Social Networks. In Methods for Studying Video Games and Religion, ed. V. Šisler, K. Radde-Antweiler, and X. Zeiler. New York: Routledge. in print.Google Scholar
  44. Stroud, N.J. 2010. Polarization and Partisan Selective Exposure. Journal of Communication 60 (3): 556–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wallace, E., I. Buil, and L. de Chernatony. 2012. Facebook ‘Friendship’ and Brand Advocacy. Journal of Brand Management 20: 128–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wallace, E., I. Buil, L. de Chernatony, and M. Hogan. 2014. Who ‘Likes’ You… and Why? A Typology of Facebook Fans from ‘Fan’–atics and Self Expressives to Utilitarians and Authentics. Journal of Advertising Research 54 (1): 92–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Weimann, G. 2006. Terror on the Internet: The New Arena, The New Challenges. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
  48. ———. 2010. Terror on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Brown Journal of World Affairs 16 (2): 45–54.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Šlerka
    • 1
  • Vít Šisler
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations