INFORMATION SOURCES SHARED ON FACEBOOK AND NETWORKING BY POPULIST LEADERS AND POPULIST PARTIES IN POLAND
Studia Politica Slovaca, 2021, vol. 14, no. 2-3, p. 66-83
National-conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) is seen as quite open to the innovative use of social media. Moreover, the government led by PiS is aiming at regulating social media in a dual way – on the one hand to prevent blocking by social media platforms, on the other hand to allow intervention and blocking by authorities. Regarding our findings, not surprisingly, the preferred source of information for both PiS and Confederation (Konfederacja) were digital sources. TV was the least often linked media outlet for PiS and radio for Confederation, respectively. All the linked media were national or with mixed origin, there were no links to European/supranational media. The overwhelming majority of links were websites and social media accounts of Confederation and PiS, their individual politicians or YouTube materials produced by these two groupings. Left and liberal media were systematically ignored when around 10% were common to both profiles, including FaceBook (FB). These were mostly mainstream media of diverse type (news websites, YouTube, radio, TV) and left, centre and centre-right ideological leanings. The political orientation of the shared sources reflected the inclination of populist parties and their coalitions to promote right wing discourses. PiS as a large party oriented towards the centre represents centre-right and Confederation represents radical right. The references to the media classified as centre-right constituted 96% of PiS sample and 66% of Confederation sample. The network analysis showed that both parties were embedded in two almost separate bubbles which are linked together by a very limited set of sources. They stayed in reciprocal relations mostly with their own separated structures, organizations, politicians or FB discussion groups.
Facebook, PiS, Confederation, populism, network analysis, media, Poland
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