The Socio-Economic and Demographic Factors of Online Activity among Right-Wing Radicals

Mikhail Myagkov, Evgeniy Shchekotin, Vyacheslav Goiko, Vitaliy Kashpur, Ekaterina Aksenova

Abstract


This paper presents the results of a study on socio-economic and demographic factors that affect the intensity of right-wing radicals’ activity in the framework of the Russian-based social network VKontakte. Right-wing radical ideas expressed within the VKontakte network are most actively supported by the population of the regional centres (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar Krai) and areas around these centres, which are defined as the semi-periphery in the core-periphery model. The intensity of the online activity of right-wing radicals is mostly influenced by demographic factors, including the average age of the population, the net migration rate coefficient; however, it is not affected by the indicators of economic well-being. The authors hypothesise that support for right-wing radical ideology on social media is determined not by the objective characteristics of the social and economic well-being of the population, but by subjective emotional factors (irritation, feelings of social injustice).


Keywords


social networks; right-wing extremism; Right-Wing Online Activity Index; right-wing activity factors; core-periphery model

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