The coup that flopped: Facebook as a platform for emotional protest

Jaroslav Švelch, Václav Štětka


This paper develops the idea that recent “networked” social movements are driven by emotions and provides an analysis of the role of emotions in movement mobilization. The case study focuses on the 2013 protests against a “coup” within the Czech Social Democratic Party. The protests had an immediate impact, resulting in a series of demonstrations, mainstream media attention and a successful overturning of the “coup”. The movement’s Facebook page served as an important catalyst for the protest. We argue that the movement’s success can be explained by its emphasis on perceived issues of morality. As people tend to gather on Facebook to express their feelings, social media become a primary conduit for emotional protest, which can be subsequently taken to the streets.


protest movements; social movements; political participation; online political participation; emotion; social media

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