Speaking Their Mind: Populist Style and Antagonistic Messaging in the Tweets of Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, and Geert Wilders

dc.contributor.authorGonawela, A’Ndre
dc.contributor.authorPal, Joyojeet
dc.contributor.authorThawani, Udit
dc.contributor.authorvan der Vlugt, Elmer
dc.contributor.authorOut, Wim
dc.contributor.authorChandra, Priyank
dc.description.abstractThe authors in this study examined the function and public reception of critical tweeting in online campaigns of four nationalist populist politicians during major national election campaigns. Using a mix of qualitative coding and case study inductive methods, we analyzed the tweets of Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, and Geert Wilders before the 2014 Indian general elections, the 2016 UK Brexit referendum, the 2016 US presidential election, and the 2017 Dutch general election, respectively. Our data show that Trump is a consistent outlier in terms of using critical language on Twitter when compared to Wilders, Farage, and Modi, but that all four leaders show significant investment in various forms of antagonistic messaging including personal insults, sarcasm, and labeling, and that these are rewarded online by higher retweet rates. Building on the work of Murray Edelman and his notion of a political spectacle, we examined Twitter as a performative space for critical rhetoric within the frame of nationalist politics. We found that cultural and political differences among the four settings also impact how each politician employs these tactics. Our work proposes that studies of social media spaces need to bring normative questions into traditional notions of collaboration. As we show here, political actors may benefit from in-group coalescence around antagonistic messaging, which while serving as a call to arms for online collaboration for those ideologically aligned, may on a societal level lead to greater polarization.en
dc.identifier.pissnISSN 0925-9724
dc.publisherSpringer, London
dc.relation.ispartofComputer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
dc.subjectSocial media
dc.subjectPolitical spectacle
dc.subjectPolitical attack
dc.subjectPolitical communication
dc.titleSpeaking Their Mind: Populist Style and Antagonistic Messaging in the Tweets of Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, and Geert Wildersen
dc.typeText/Journal Article
gi.conference.date4-8 June 2018
gi.conference.locationNancy, France
gi.conference.sessiontitleLong Papers


Original bundle
1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
432.51 KB
Adobe Portable Document Format