Far-Right Populism Online: Did VOX’s Community Reproduce the Party’s Discourse During the April 2019 Campaign?

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Far-Right Populism Online: Did VOX’s Community Reproduce the Party’s Discourse During the April 2019 Campaign?


  • Arantxa Capdevila Department of Communication Studies, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
  • Carlota M. Moragas-Fernández Department of Communication Studies, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
  • Josep Maria Grau Masot Department of Communication Studies, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain


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Abstract:  In April 2019, VOX, a far-right populist party, won seats for the first time in the Spanish parliament. VOX successfully used social media to participate in the electoral debate and to establish a more direct link with its followers. We investigated how the VOX online community was structured during the election campaign and to what extent the most influential profiles spread the party’s messages. We accordingly analysed two samples, one composed of tweets and retweets that used the hashtags #28A, #28Abril, and #28AbrilElecciones, and the other composed of metaphorical expressions identified in tweets by influencers. Applying social network analysis to the first sample, we studied the form and structure of the network and identified key profiles in the VOX community, i.e., influencers, builders, and bridges. Using critical metaphor analysis with the second sample, we identified the main frames used by VOX influencers to explore whether they reproduced the party’s populist discourse. We found that the VOX online community in 2019 did not only include party supporters or members but was composed of varied profiles. For this reason, the populist metaphorical framing used by the VOX leadership was only partially disseminated.

Keywords:  far-right populism; metaphor; online community; Spain; Twitter; VOX

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v10i4.5704


© Arantxa Capdevila, Carlota M. Moragas-Fernández, Josep Maria Grau Masot. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.