New publication unpicks the use of Facebook in the 2017 Romanian #rezist protests
In a new journal article, Dan Mercea considers the use of public social media in transnational expatriate activism. He examines connections among users of Facebook event pages associated with 122 cities worldwide where demonstrations took place in 2017, in support of the anti-corruption Romanian #rezist protests. An exploration of interconnections between socio-demographics, space and network characteristics, the study probes the association of geographic location and the gender of page users to connectivity in comment and share networks to reveal a connectivity differential. Connections increased when users were active on the same pages whereas users’ common location related to comparatively lower levels of commenting but not sharing activity. At the same time, while a larger proportion of them were male, users displayed a systematic tendency to interact with the other gender. In light of these findings, the author argues for attention to be paid to socio-spatial variations in the use of social media that both localize and help bridge transnational activism.