Far-right populism in alt-tech: A challenge for democracy?

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Abstract

This article examines how far-right communities in alt-tech platforms depict and engage with the values of democracy. The study contributes to the ongoing discussion on the impact of far-right populism on democracy and the role of alt-tech social media as an enabling platform for such ideologies. Through applying the concept of polyarchal democracy as an analytical framework, the article conducts a case study of Australian alt-tech communities to explore discourses of democracy. The dataset comprises of text-centric social media posts from the Telegram and Gab platforms during the 2022 federal election period. The findings reveal that, overall, far-right populist discourses in alt-tech communities predominantly support the processes of democracy and uphold most (though not all) of its values. Understanding these discourses is crucial for safeguarding liberal democracy in a context of rising illiberalism.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Early online date25 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Alt-tech
  • democracy
  • democratic theory
  • extremism
  • far-right populism
  • far-right
  • political communication
  • populism
  • social media

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