Islamophobia and Twitter: The Political Discourse of the Extreme Right in Spain and Its Impact on the Public
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AuthorOlmos Alcaraz, Antonia
IslamophobiaPolitical discourseSocial networksRacismExtreme rightSpainVOX
Olmos-Alcaraz, Antonia. 2023. Islamophobia and Twitter: The Political Discourse of the Extreme Right in Spain and Its Impact on the Public. Religions 14: 506. [https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14040506]
SponsorshipJunta de Andalucia APIARA-SEJ-440-UGR20; "Discursos politicos, racializacion y racismo en espacios digitales: netnografia de la contestacion ciudadana y nuevas formas de participacion social". BBVA Foundation
This paper analyzes the discourse concerning Islam and Muslims by assessing the extreme right-wing party, Vox, on Twitter. In addition, this paper examines the incidence (impact and reactions) of this party on the users of this social network. The objectives of this study are as follows: to identify themes and topics concerning this discourse; to analyze how the discourse is articulated and represented; and to understand the impact of this discourse by measuring the engagement of the most viral publications. To do so, we observed the publications posted by the party via its official account throughout 2022. The research methodology was based on qualitative and quantitative content analysis, and the publications themselves were monitored to ascertain the level of engagement. The results of this study clearly show that Vox created Islamophobic narratives; thus, Islam and Muslims are explicit targets of Vox’s hate speech. Their rhetoric referred to security threats and threats to national identity, with the recurrent use of the idea that there is a “danger of Islamization” in Spain. The party uses disinformation and hoaxes, and users respond in a polarized way. The results of this study alert us to the worrying levels of radicalization and the normalization of Islamophobic racist discourse in the examined context.