Event Date Details:
Join us in welcoming Prof. Klinger after her talk on the SSMS lawn. Refreshments will be served
Relating to theories of dissonant public spheres and affective publics, the talk presents results from a study comparing the 2014 and 2019 EP elections as well as preliminary insights from the very recent German national elections in September 2021. The first study analyzed negativity, dramatization and populist content in party posts on Facebook in the 2014 and 2019 European Parliament Election campaigns in 12 countries. Results show that negative emotions, negative campaigning, dramatization and populist content have increased from 2014 to 2019. Posts evoking negative emotions, dramatization and negative campaigning also yield more user engagement. Going negative and exaggerating as well as sensationalizing messages thus makes perfect sense from a strategic perspective, because parties reap more likes, shares and comments, making their messages travel farther and deeper in social networks. It seems that affective and dissonant communication does not emerge unintentionally, but is a result of strategic campaigning. These findings are then discussed in the light of a project monitoring the German National election campaigns 2021.