Images of protest in movement parties’ social media communication

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This research investigates the strategic use of protest imagery on social media by movement parties, bridging the gap between protest and institutional politics. We apply a mixed-methods analysis of 9584 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram image posts by seven movement parties between 2015 and 2021. We find that protest images frequently serve to amplify movement grievances. Yet, parties’ involvement with contentious protest forms undergoes temporal shifts, influenced mainly by their evolving positions within the polity. Moreover, parties’ engagement with protest images differs by country and ideological leaning. Movement parties on the Right express a conflictual position between supporting and delegitimizing different protests. Conversely, Left-leaning counterparts tend to support protest, yet veer toward deradicalization and emphasizing symbolism over disruptive tactics, once they become more institutionalized. This research highlights the intricate relationship between movement parties, protest, and visual narratives on social media, in light of the interplay between movements and institutional politics.
TidsskriftNew Media & Society
StatusUdgivet - 2024

ID: 388541735