Kilian Buehling and Annett Heft (both Freie University of Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute) published an article on the Pandemic Protesters on Telegram: How Platform Affordances and Information Ecosystems Shape Digital Counterpublics in Social Media + Society.
Their research investigates the role of platform affordances, their adoption by movement actors, and the strategic use of information ecosystems in shaping a digital counterpublic during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study analyzes data from over 300 Telegram channels and group chats associated with the Querdenken movement over a two-year period. Employing a combination of automated and manual techniques such as topic modeling, network analysis, and quantitative actor coding, the research illustrates how Telegram facilitated connective and collective action, influenced by the movement’s structure, goals, and the impact of individual information-sharing on the movement-building process. Considering the dynamics over time, the study reveals that different segments of the counterpublic engaged with and sustained unique information ecosystems to convey their messages and drive contentious activities.
The full paper is available as an open access publication. The paper, “Pandemic Protesters on Telegram: How Platform Affordances and Information Ecosystems Shape Digital Counterpublics” was published in the journal Social Media + Society and can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051231199430