„Hashjacking“ the Debate: Polarisation strategies of Germany’s political far-right on Twitter

Author: Darius, P., & Stephany, F.
Published in: International Conference on Social Informatics, Springer, Cham.
Year: 2019
Type: Academic articles
DOI: 10.31235/osf.io/6gbc9

With a network approach, we examine the case of the German far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and their potential use of a ”hashjacking” strategy. Our findings suggest that rightwing politicians (and their supporters/retweeters) actively and effectively polarise the discourse not just by using their own party hashtags, but also by ”hashjacking” the political party hashtags of other established parties. The results underline the necessity to understand the success of right-wing parties, online and in elections, not entirely as a result of external effects (e.g. migration), but as a direct consequence of their digital political communication strategy.

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