Government’s echo. Twitter discussions around news topics in Russian networked authoritarianism

Daria Dergacheva*, Anna Tous-Rovirosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This research uses the Social Network Analysis (SNA) method to determine the main actors in Twitter discussions around news topics. First, using the theory of networked authoritarianism (MacKinnon, 2011), it conceptualizes the ways that authoritarian states may influence domestic media and the broader Internet, taking Russia as our case study. It describes Russia’s media system and the incentives behind it. Next, it discusses the role of Twitter in authoritarian societies and defines Twitter’s role in today’s Russia. Methodology and results are followed by an exploration of the involvement of state-loyal actors in online discussions of the news, including those centered on social media in support of Russia’s domestic and international priorities, aiming to set the agenda on sensitive news topics and, thus, support existing authoritarian elites while diminishing voices of opposition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhttps://doi.org/10.1080/19409419.2021.1874790
JournalRussian Journal of Communication
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Authoritarianism
  • media
  • Russia
  • social network analysis
  • Twitter

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