The Dark Side of Online Activism: Swedish Right-Wing Extremism Video Activism on YouTube

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This study deals with the use of YouTube by five right-wing extremist actors in Sweden to spread socio-political propaganda and revised historical narratives. Ekman shows how, through an an analysis of over 200 videos, non-democratic agents deploy clips in a marketed campaign to increase their own visibility and to mobilise its own activists. The Dark Side of Online Activism is an interesting piece for its depiction of a deeply nuanced structure of what Ekman refers to as political aestheticization, or the visual and auditory transformation of political messages. In addition, Ekman highlights that these developments reflect how YouTube has become a political stage for its ability to nourish a participatory, radical scene that appeals to sympathisers and reinforces solidarity.

Researchers interested in understanding how extremist groups use technology to advance discourse and ideology will find this source a compelling means to comprehend the material in its various stages.


Mattias Ekman