A Self-Critical Public: Cumulation of Opinion on Belarusian Oppositional YouTube before the 2020 Protests

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

YouTube-based discussions are a growing area of academic attention. However, we still lack knowledge on whether YouTube provides for forming critical publics in countries with no established democratic tradition. To address this question, we study commenting to Belarusian oppositional YouTube blogs in advance of the major wave of Belarusian post-election protests of 2020. Based on the crawled data of the whole year of 2018 for six Belarusian political videoblogs, we define the structure of the commenters’ community, detect the core commenters, and assess their discourse for aggression, orientation of dialogue, direction of criticism, and antagonism/agonism. We show that, on Belarusian YouTube, the commenters represented a genuine adversarial self-critical public with cumulative patterns of solidarity formation and find markers of readiness for the protest spillover.

Original languageEnglish
Article number063464
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Media + Society
Volume7
Issue number4
Early online date8 Dec 2021
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Computer Science Applications

Keywords

  • Belarus
  • opinion cumulation
  • political blogging
  • self-critical public
  • YouTube
  • IDEOLOGY
  • BYELARUS

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