Exploring the Link Between Right-wing Alternative Media and Social Media During the Swedish 2018 Election
This study examines the influence of right-wing alternative media on social media during the Swedish 2018 general election, by analyzing links shared on Facebook and the engagement around these links. The results indicate that content originating from such sites had notable visibility on social media in comparison to traditional news-media content. Of the news stories shared in our sample, 28 % originated from right-wing alternative media outlets and the amount of engagement around links shared was comparable to that of mainstream news media. Immigration and integration-related issues dominated the covered content shared from right-wing alternative media. Content in links that evoked highest engagement on Facebook similarly revolved around immigration, crime, and the Sweden Democrats. In this regard, Facebook might contribute to giving voice to contested views of these controversial news sites and the platform, to broaden their reach.