The New Face of Digital Populism

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This 2011 book uses a survey created by the authors to examine the growth of populist, also known as “nationalist” or “far-right”, parties in Europe by looking at their overall social media presence and analyzing the responses of online supporters. The authors first identified populist parties in France, the UK, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Belgium. The authors then targeted online supporters of these parties on Facebook with the survey, ultimately compiling a dataset of 10,667 complete surveys and the results were then weighted against the groups’ online demographics.

This article will be of use to researchers and practitioners looking at populist movements and other forms of political extremist narratives using digital mediums, as well as those interested in analysing online content more generally across multiple country case studies. The authors present the aggregated results of their dataset, including the age, gender, education level, employment status, and voting habits of survey responders. The authors also present more qualitative results such as the reasons responders joined the groups, and the social and political views of online supporters on certain topics, compared to national averages. The paper presents the results of logistic regression models exploring the relationship between online support for these parties and offline activities. 

J Bartlett, J Birdwell, M Littler