Feeling the Truth

Emotions and Digital Truth-making within Right-wing Populist Networks on Twitter/X

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Pia Schramm University of Tübingen pia.schramm@uni-tuebingen.de

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and
Julia Molin Humboldt Universität zu Berlin julia.molin1@gmail.com

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Based on an investigation of how everyday users participate in right-wing populist discourse on social media platforms, this article explores the emotional practices that shape and legitimise purported truths about the threat posed by Islam to the Western world. The article builds on the findings of an online ethnography of a right-wing community of users on Twitter. Drawing on a practice theory approach of emotions that considers the properties of social media platforms, we argue that right-wing populist claims to truth do not function in a linear way. The emotions mobilised in this context do not solely focus on rejection and exclusion. Rather, right-wing populist truth-making is a complex process in which emotional practices of inclusion and exclusion are interwoven.

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