Forming an affective public online: Aggressive posts and comments in the My Stealthy Freedom movement

Authors

  • Farinaz Basmechi University of North Texas
  • Gabe Ignatow University of North Texas

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v26i3.11471

Keywords:

affective publics, sentiment analysis, web memetics, thematic analysis, hijab, My Stealthy Freedom, White Wednesdays

Abstract

We use social psychology research on emotional selection of information to model how social movements use social media in the formation of affective publics and apply our model to Instagram post data from the My Stealthy Freedom anti-mandatory hijab movement in Iran. Thematic analysis applied to samples of posts and comments revealed six main themes, one of which, aggression, includes three subthemes related to verbal aggression and physical violence. As the level of aggression increased in Instagram videos, the level of aggression in the comments increased as well, and videos containing verbal aggression and physical violence had more likes and comments than did non-aggressive and non-violent videos. We discuss implications of these findings for research on social movements and the formation of affective publics.

Author Biography

Gabe Ignatow, University of North Texas

Professor, Department of Sociology

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Published

2021-02-09

How to Cite

Basmechi, F., & Ignatow, G. (2021). Forming an affective public online: Aggressive posts and comments in the My Stealthy Freedom movement. First Monday, 26(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v26i3.11471