Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Points of Contact Between Activism, Populism, and Fandom on Social Media

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Abstract:  This article explores how music fans used social media to increase a social movement’s public support. Although initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory, the movement eventually gained widespread support and is motivating communities to engage in broader cultural conversations. The movement’s success, this article argues, is largely owed to social media’s networked communication affordances and how they facilitate fan-based citizenship and citizen journalism. Through a rhetorical analysis of social media communication related to the movement, this article examines how online fan-based citizen journalism can draw together seemingly disconnected ideologies and audiences to diversify and bolster social movements’ support.

Keywords:  celebrity; citizen journalism; digital publics; fan activism; fan studies; hashtag activism; popular culture; pop music; social media; social movements



© Sarah Riddick. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.