The far-right’s influence on Twitter during the 2018 Andalusian elections: an approach through political leaders
Issue Date: 
2020
Publisher: 
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
ISSN: 
2386-7876
Citation: 
Rivas-de-Roca, R. (Rubén); García-Gordillo, M. (Mar); Bezunartea-Valencia, O. (Ofa). "The far-right’s influence on Twitter during the 2018 Andalusian elections: an approach through political leaders". Communication & Society. 33 (2), 2020, 227 - 242
Abstract
New technologies allow politicians to spread their messages omitting the role of mediators. In this context, the Internet has also promoted the emergence of a new actor, digital opinion leaders, who go beyond traditional politics and seek to set the public agenda. One of the main questions nowadays is whether social media, and in particular Twitter as a consolidated tool for political communication, is only used as a sounding board for their political statements, spurring the messages of populist forces. With this in mind, the main objective of this research is to explore the influence of the far-right in the public debate of political leaders on Twitter, analyzing the specific case of the Andalusian regional elections held in December 2018. These elections can be considered a political turning point, with an extreme right party winning seats in a Spanish regional election for the first time in 35 years. In this paper we analyze if Vox used a differentiated strategy via this social network compared to the candidates of the traditional parties: PSOE, PP, Ciudadanos, and Adelante Andalucía. Using content analysis on Twitter as a method, this research determines how Vox candidates worked as influencers of the digital political debate, despite being extra-parliamentary. Vox marked the agenda for the rest of the leaders, while generating great expectation among the audience.

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