ALT-PLATFORMIZATION: RADICALIZATION OF DISCOURSES AND INFORMATION FLOWS IN THE ALTERNATIVE ECOSYSTEM.
Keywords:Discourse and Public Opinion, Misinformation and Disinformation, Politics and Policy, Platform Studies
AbstractThis paper examines the process of radicalization on the alternative social media platform Gab, and the flow of information between Gab and other similar platforms. Corresponding to the socio-political changes and increasing polarization across the globe, some alternative platforms have witnessed a rising popularity among ultra-conservative and/or right-leaning users. Among such platforms, a few have succeeded in surviving the external pressures put on them through “deplatformisation”. Gab, an alternative platform often equated to the far-right copy of Twitter, is one such space (Zannettou et al., 2018). Gab exhibits significant changes in participation and discourse. By analyzing temporal dynamics of posts on three topics—vaccination discourse, music, and food—we trace the process of radicalization on Gab. We also mapped the content from the most shared external sources (domains) across platforms such as BitChute, Odyssey, Rumble etc. to trace the flow of information across the fringe network. We argue that users are overcoming deplatforming or deplatformization by creating sustainable flows of information in a range of services and spaces, all interconnected through their platformized function. We define this as "alt-platformization", the systemic and systematic process of creating a self-sufficient, viable alternative to the platformized web, entailing the necessary infrastructure, production, circulation, consumption, and reproduction of discourses. A key differentiating feature of alt-platformization is the ideological, along with commercial logics dominating this process and space.
How to Cite
Nagappa, A., & Dehghan, E. (2023). ALT-PLATFORMIZATION: RADICALIZATION OF DISCOURSES AND INFORMATION FLOWS IN THE ALTERNATIVE ECOSYSTEM. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2022i0.13060