Philippov I. B.

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  • № 2, 2022

    • Symmetrical Answer: Police Suppression of Protests as a Driver of Political Communication in Social Media

      The article presents the results of the empirical study about the impact of the police suppression of street rallies on the political communication in social networks. Based on the messages published in the social network VKontakte during the discussion of a series of protests that took place in Moscow in the summer of 2019 on the eve of the City Duma elections, the author analyzes how police violence affects publishing activity on the Internet and the demand for the published content. The author reveals a positive relationship between the use of force by the police and the intensity of the discussion of the relevant event. According to his conclusion, the effect can be explained not only by a surge of interest in the protest events of a lesser scale, but also by the ability of motivated users to search and find an additional audience via the commenting mechanism. By communicating about what happened in the comments on neutral messages within the initially non-politicized communities, such users draw new people into the protest communication. In the event of a police crackdown, the number of comments that make up the most “democratic” part of the political communication in the new media, which is available even to users with low media capital, increases dramatically. The effectiveness of these comments is also increasing, in a sense that they are attracting new users into the discussion, which results in spreading the content to the pages, where protest actions are normally not discussed.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-105-2-24-48

      Pages: 24-48