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The Fission of the Forbidden: The Popularity of Video Content in an Online Right-Wing Extremist Environment

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society
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  • 1 Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
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Abstract

Video platforms such as YouTube provide an environment where the blurred duality between content dissemination and creation facilitates the generation of social networks. Research into online violent extremist environments has often noted the prominence of video-sharing platforms as a means of distributing propaganda and cultivating social networks for purposes of recruitment. This paper draws from the study of emotion to examine three videos and associated comments that had high engagement, understood as the frequency of interactions, likes/upvotes and reposts in a given social network, in a right-wing extremist online milieu. This analysis highlights the important role emotions play in generating social connectedness and ultimately engagement and recruitment into online right-wing extremist milieus. Understanding the significance of emotions in online violent extremist video content can help to identify opportunities for moderation and/or the construction of alternative narratives.

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