Communication strategies in the climate change debate on Facebook. Discourse on the Madrid Climate Summit (COP 25)
Keywords: 
Climate change
Social media
Social networks
Facebook
Emotions
Communication strategies
Madrid Climate Summit
COP 25
Issue Date: 
2022
ISSN: 
1699-2407
Citation: 
De-Lara, A.; Erviti-Ilundain, M. (María del Carmen); León-Anguiano, B. (Bienvenido). "Communication strategies in the climate change debate on Facebook. Discourse on the Madrid Climate Summit (COP 25)". El Profesional de la Información. 31 (2), 2022, e310202
Abstract
Climate change (CC) has become a topic of great interest in traditional and social media, two valuable sources of information that contribute to discussion on current affairs. Facebook is the social network with the most users in the world and also promotes mobilization, which makes it a platform of great interest for the study of CC communication strategies. The aim of this study is to analyse the content of the messages on CC posted on Facebook by prominent users: the relevance of the topic in the posts as a whole, objectives pursued, type of discourse and the emotions associated with messages. After validating a selection of 10 accounts (Greta Thunberg, Donald Trump, Scott Morrison, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, Extinction Rebellion USA, Justin Trudeau, Bernie Sanders, United Nations, Extinction Rebellion UK and Jane Fonda), the methodology was based on content analysis applied to messages on CC (n = 599) posted on Facebook by the selected accounts between 1 November 2019 and 10 January 2020, the period covering the Madrid Climate Summit (COP 25, held in 2019). The results revealed different CC communication strategies. Regarding the presence of CC as a topic, we observed three different strategies: omission, simple mention and high presence. In terms of discourse, we noticed two different strategies: an emotional strategy that was more successful at generating interaction with others, and an analytical strategy that was generally more belligerent in its fight against CC.

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