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Atlas multi-plateforme d’un mouvement social : le cas des Gilets jaunes

Pedro Ramaciotti Morales, Jean-Philippe Cointet, Bilel Benbouzid, Dominique Cardon, Caterina Froio, Omer Faruk Metin, Benjamin Ooghe, Guillaume Plique

In this article, we propose to map an online social movement, and more precisely the Yellow Vests movement, through different online platforms (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) to draw its atlas. Our objective is twofold: to describe the activity of the Yellow Vests in Facebook groups in all their variety on the one hand, and to defend a methodological approach which mixes as much as possible the traces collected from different digital platforms on the other hand. The Yellow Vests Facebook groups will constitute our privileged observation post of the movement. The examination of the content of posts published on Facebook, coupled with the analysis of the numerous metadata on groups allows us to delimit the contours of the movement’s claim-space and its aggregation dynamics. Exploitation of the links shared in these publications, on the other hand, give relief to our atlas, as we use them attribute political labels to Facebook groups. The political label of links is calculated according to their usage on Twitter and ideology inference using the follower-followee network. The way the Yellow Vests refer to external sources on the web – whether websites or YouTube channels – also sheds light on their relationship with the media. We rely on an existing characterization of the most used media in the digital public space to grasp their relationship to mainstream, militant media (whether right or left) or to the counter-informational space. The analysis of these practices of media use shows that the Yellow Vests build their discourse by relying largely on media and the so-called “alternative” expression platforms (auto-media, videos, live, etc.) Overall, we note a great geographic and ideological plurality, but also a heterogeneous and constantly evolving repertoire of demands. However, a form of political opposition to power unites our groups which also cultivate a rejection of the modes of representation of the movement made by the traditional media.