His presentation assesses the strategies of anti-immigration actors on social media and the discursive construction of immigrants and refugees in user interaction on Facebook. It emphasizes the particular role of emotions in racist discourse and analyses how an open Facebook group generates and circulates anti-immigration and racist sentiments to a large audience. By analysing the general communicative features of the group, including user interaction, it demonstrates how anti-immigration and racist sentiments are moulded through interactivity between actors in an open digital space. Moreover, the paper emphasizes that anti-immigration groups online can be understood as affective publics, in which racial expressions and overt racism are becoming increasingly normalized. It also argues that these publics must be taken into consideration when addressing the causes of anti-immigration and racist sentiments in contemporary societies.



Mattias Ekman is Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden. He is currently heading the research project “Interactive Racism in Swedish Online Media, Press and Politics: Discourses on Immigration and Refugees at Times of Crisis”, funded by the Swedish Research Council.

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