DRI summarizes the 11-month Long Monitoring of Far-Right Groups in Social Media

In the final report, the Democracy Research Institute is summarizing the results of 11-month long monitoring of far-right groups’ discourse on social platforms and online media. During the monitoring process DRI media researcher studied and analyzed 20 235 posts on 12 far-right group leaders’ and 15 far-right groups’ Facebook pages, as well as 2 317 articles by 9 online media platforms’ webpages.

The narrative of far-right leaders and groups was divided into 5 categories according to the main characteristics: xenophobic, homophobic, anti-liberal, anti-western, and nationalistic. Analysis of interactions with the posts revealed that nationalistic and anti-liberal discourse were especially popular. Nationalistic discourse is particularly characteristic for the following Facebook pages: „Turkey is an Occupier“, „Silenced Georgians“ and „Kardhu“, while anti-liberal discourse was characteristic for “Anti-Liberal League“,Alt-Club“ and „Geo Pepe”.

Media monitoring revealed that far-right rhetoric of online platforms comes in two ways: openly pro-Russian (Sakinform, Georgia and the World, Sputnik Georgia, News front Georgia) and aggressively anti-liberal (Politicano, Alt-Info, Zneoba). Far-right groups and leaders use online platforms to 1) stir up anti-liberal sentiments among Georgian citizens; 2) portray Russia as a counterweight for “depraved west”.

Social platforms are one of the main tools for far-right groups’ to attract followers and spreading their messages. Media monitoring revealed 3 main characteristics of Georgian far-right rhetoric: 1) arousing anti-western sentiments among the Georgian population and, thus, discrediting western institutions; 2) supporting Kremlin politics and spreading pro-Russian messages; 3) spreading irrational fears and hatred throughout society using false information and manipulation.

Following key findings were revealed during the monitoring:

  • Far-right groups active in Georgia network with each other and are tightly connected through the action plans or strategy development processes;
  • Far-right groups are attempting to demonize the U.S.A. and send anti-liberal messages;
  • The far-right discourse on social platforms and online media is characterized, on the one hand, by ethnonationalism and, on the other hand, by distinctly pro-Russian messages;
  • Local and international non-governmental organizations are actively demonized; George Soros is presented as the main instigator of depravity;
  • The most popular targets for far-right aggression are: feminists, immigrants, LGBT+ community, muslims, and liberals;
  • The most popular guests in online media outlets are those politicians and leaders, who are creating the far-right agenda in Georgia.
"The results of  social media monitoring"

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The monitoring was possible with the financial support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in the framework of the project "Understanding and Combating Far-Right Extremism and Ultra-Nationalism in Georgia”.