The Web of Hate: Fragmentation of Media Authority and its Link to Right-Wing Populism and Cyber Islamophobia

Zeynep Aydin, Albrecht Fuess, Thijl Sunier, Araceli González Vázquez

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Abstract

The twenty-first century has been marked strongly with two extremely significant developments, firstly the increase in international terror attacks and secondly the evolution of media and information consumption based on technological advancements. These phenomena together have led to the figurative and literal blowing up of mass media coverage, but, increasingly and more importantly, social media traffic. This shift in information consumption by the general public, especially after terror attacks, is leading to a fragmentation of authority that traditional media gained after years of being the monopoly of verified information exchange. The increased usage and wide accessibility of social media is allowing more people to feel connected globally after terror attacks and is leading to the creation of mediascapes by defining in-groups of like-minded people against Islam, as a common enemy, which leads to a drastic increase in online hate against Islam and Muslims. Digital mediascapes therefore have the ability to unify participants around an “us” that is specifically against the “other” that is labeled as an enemy. Islamophobia thus has become a useful tool for right-wing populists not only to gather a large following online but for right-wing parties to assemble electors in several European nation-states. This, in turn, can provoke the escalation of right-wing populism where people, who are experiencing the echo chamber first hand or those perceiving the viral developments from outside, can become easy prey for political influence. Therefore, social media groups, hashtags and sites can be seen as the feeding ground for right-wing populist political parties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-243
Number of pages13
JournalJurnal Komunikasi: Malaysian Journal of Communication
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie grant agreement N? 813547.

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This paper is part of a project that has received funding from the ?uropean Union 嬁退 Horizon ?? research and innovation programme under the Marie ?kłodo-Cwusrkiae grant agreement N°813547.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. All rights reserved.

Funding

This paper is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie grant agreement N? 813547. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This paper is part of a project that has received funding from the ?uropean Union 嬁退 Horizon ?? research and innovation programme under the Marie ?kłodo-Cwusrkiae grant agreement N°813547.

FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions813547

    Keywords

    • Cyberspace
    • Echo-chamber
    • Islamophobia
    • Right-wing populism
    • Social media

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