Title

Influencers, Amplifiers, and Icons: A Systematic Approach to Understanding the Roles of Islamophobic Actors on Twitter

Funding Sponsor

Social Science Research Council

Find in your Library

https://doi.org/10.1177/10776990211031567

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

Publication Date

1-1-2021

doi

10.1177/10776990211031567

Abstract

In the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, an unprecedented number of American Muslims ran for public office, including the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. This study analyzes the anti-Muslim/anti-immigrant Twitter discourse surrounding Ilhan Omar, one of these two successful candidates. The results identify three categories of accounts that linked Omar to clusters of accounts that shaped the Islamophobia/xenophobic narrative: Influencers, Amplifiers, and Icons. This cadre of accounts played a synergistic and disproportionate role in raising the level of hate speech as a vast network containing a high proportion of apparently inauthentic accounts magnified the messages generated by a handful of provocateurs.

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