INFORMATION SOURCES SHARED ON FACEBOOK AND NETWORKING BY POPULIST LEADERS AND POPULIST PARTIES IN SLOVAKIA
Andrej Školkay – Adina Marincea
Studia Politica Slovaca, 2021, vol. 14, no. 2-3, p. 84-110
The case study undergoes an analysis of the FaceBook (FB) activity of two Slovak populist entities, one lead by Boris Kollár and OĽaNO movement. The aim was to explore whether and how they construct a populist network and draw on media sources that are out of the mainstream or associated with a populist style. Both selected entities were highly active and quite successful in their communication on FB throughout most of the last five years at least. The study finds that these entities publish sources and connect with other FB pages that mostly confirm their parties’ positions and alliances. Yet there was no preference for alternative sources, understood as disseminating hyper-partisan or fake news and hoaxes, often associated with populist parties. Rather, OĽaNO had some reciprocity in media visibility with mainstream liberal media, in the sense that the party drew on liberal mainstream sources, which also covered the parties’ activities. In sharing posts, Boris Kollár had the most intensive dissemination network, while movements WAF and OĽaNO were very similar in terms of size of their network. There was a rather low cross-promotion. OĽaNO supporters were more appreciative of the efforts made by murdered journalist Ján Kuciak, and showed a stronger focus against Smer-SD (Direction-Social Democracy). In contrast, Kollár was associated more with pro-Christian, national and social rhetoric.
Populism, OĽaNO, Sme rodina, Facebook, Slovakia, network analysis, social media
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 International License.