Protest and repression on social media: Pro-Navalny and pro-government mobilization dynamics and coordination patterns on Russian Twitter

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

In this study, we examine connective protest mobilization and suppression during the 2021 protests in Russia. We use time series analysis to study the dynamic interplay between the pro-Navalny movement and pro-government countermovement on Twitter, complemented by network analyses of co-retweeting networks to assess the movements’ coordination patterns. Findings show that pro-Navalny accounts were more active and coordinated within more centralized Twitter networks than pro-government accounts. Contrarily, the pro-government camp employed preventive communication tactics and coordinated in more clustered networks. Granger causality tests reveal that pro-Navalny tweeting activity triggered increased pro-regime reaction during the largest protests on 23 January and 21 April, whereas pro-government tweeting activity caused the escalation of pro-Navalny reaction during the 14 February protests. Both sides’ tweeting activity decreased after the February protests, presumably due to external repression. These findings contribute to a deeper understanding of online mobilization and coordination strategies via social media in authoritarian contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media & Society
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 508020 Political communication

Keywords

  • connective action
  • coordination
  • networks
  • protest
  • repression
  • russia
  • social media
  • twitter
  • Twitter
  • Connective action
  • Russia

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