Like, Share, Comment, and Repeat: Far-right Messages, Emotions, and Amplification in Social Media

Larissa Doroshenko, Fangjing Tu
Information Technology & Politics
July 19, 2022


Investigating the role of emotions in online political engagement, we show that far-right parties receive more amplification online than centrist parties because their messages produce stronger emotional reactions. Using a 2 × 3 mixed design survey experiment (N = 303), which compared far-right and centrist messages about three campaign issues in Ukraine, we demonstrate that nationalist appeals evoked hope and enthusiasm, which resulted in more likes and shares.However, far-rights were only successful when addressing their traditional issues, such as national language policy. We conclude with advice on how other parties can harness emotional appeals to encourage political participation when facing competition from far-right parties.

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