Australian and Canadian far-right extremism: a cross-national comparative analysis of social media mobilisation on Facebook
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 02:28 by Jade Hutchinson
Australia and Canada have experienced a growth in far-right extremist activity, from organised hate rallies in urban centres to a growing presence on social media platforms such as Facebook. A common sentiment shared across these movements using social media is the need to defend national and Western identity and culture from what adherents argue are the threat of unchecked immigration, liberal government and the proliferation of Islam. Recent studies have described this ideological narrative within the European and North American context. Little is known, however, about how this is being experienced in the Australian context and how the Australian experience compares to the Canadian far-right extremist movement. This research will conduct a cross-national comparative survey of the online activity and thematic content of the Australian and Canadian far-right extremist movements on Facebook. Any thematic content that emerges from the findings will be interpreted using Social Mobilisation Theory. This conceptual framework seeks to identify some of the ways Australian and Canadian far-right extremist groups mobilise on the social media platform Facebook. This research demonstrates empirically that Australian and Canadian far-right extremist groups share ideological and behavioural commonalities and differences in online activity, thematic content, and in their use of passive and active online behaviour in the form of platform-based symbolic gestures of emotional sentiment. Understanding these similarities and differences in online behaviour provides insight on how far-right groups in these countries evolve online, mobilise on social media, and how best to counter them.