№ 1, 2018
Although the number of Twitter users is significantly lower than other social networks in our country (primarily, Vkontakte and Facebook), its social and political significance is quite high, due to both the network’s technical features, and the specificity of public and political communication in modern Russia. Against the background of the strict state control over the key social media, Twitter is an independent and efficient platform for interactive exchange of information. During the protests on March 26, 2017, and immediately thereafter, Twitter not only supplemented (or even replaced) the federal media’s role in disseminating important information, but also acted as a channel for social and political discussion and construction of offline networks.
The article attempts to show how one can draw conclusions about the evolution of the Russian protest politics on the basis of the analysis of Twitter communication. The authors focus on whether Twitter messages shed light on the mechanisms of socio-political mobilization and protest potential in general.
The conducted research shows that Twitter can be viewed as an effective tool of social and political mobilization, which opens up opportunities for overcoming collective action problem in the process of social movements for- mation. Twitter communication can help strengthen solidarity and crystallization of offline networks, by creating favorable conditions for collective action. At the same time, similar to other social networks, it can be used to mobilize not only the opposition, but also the loyalist segment of the society.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Nechay Valery