White Twitter: Tracing the Evolution of the alt-right in Retweets, 2009-2016

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Shahin, Saif
Ng, Yee Man Margaret
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Abstract
The alt-right White Nationalist movement, which emerged in response to the election of America’s first Black president, adopted Twitter from the outset. Tracing its evolution over eight years in retweets, our study suggests that the movement was relatively small and factionalized until 2015—but its subgroups closed ranks following Donald Trump’s candidacy and became a blowhorn for his campaign. Integrating social network theory with the emerging view of race and politics as dynamic processes, our study advances a “technosocial” understanding of White Nationalism and its journey from the fringes to the center stage of American politics.
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Culture, Identity, and Inclusion, identity, polarization, race, social network analysis, twitter
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