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Juli 2017

‘Dark Germany’: Hidden Patterns of Participation in Online Far-Right Protests Against Refugee Housing

"‘Dark Germany’: Hidden Patterns of Participation in Online Far-Right Protests Against Refugee Housing", guest lecture by Sebastian Schelter, TU Berlin, and discussion within the series "Computational Social Science @ Hans Bredow Institute" on 20 July 2017 in Hamburg.

Infos zur Veranstaltung


Rothenbaumchaussee 36
Seminarraum 3. OG
20148 Hamburg

The political discourse in Western European countries such as Germany has recently seen a resurgence of the topic of refugees, fueled by an influx of refugees from various Middle Eastern and African countries. In order to contribute to the analysis of these processes, we present a quantitative study of the social media activities of a contemporary nationwide protest movement against local refugee housing in Germany, which organizes itself via dedicated Facebook pages per city. We analyse data from 136 such protest pages in 2015, containing more than 46,000 posts and more than one million interactions by more than 200,000 users. We find several activity metrics such as the number of posts issued, discussion volume about crime and housing costs, negative polarity in comments, and user engagement to peak in late 2015, coinciding with chancellor Angela Merkel’s much criticised decision of September 2015 to temporarily admit the entry of Syrian refugees to Germany.

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Cornelius Puschmann
Professor at the University of Bremen

Prof. Dr. Cornelius Puschmann

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 55
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 77

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