YouTube interactions between agonism, antagonism and dialogue: video responses to the anti-Islam film Fitna
journal contributionposted on 07.10.2013, 11:20 authored by Liesbet van Zoonen, Farida Vis, Sabina MiheljSabina Mihelj
Fitna is a 2008 short film made by a Dutch member of parliament to support his fight against Islam. It shows shocking footage of terrorism, violence and women’s oppression and claims that these are inherent to Islam. The film caused immense controversy and mobilized people across the world to produce and upload their own views to YouTube. In this article we analyze these videos using different theoretical models of democratic interaction, and distinguishing between antagonism, ‘agonism’ and dialogue. On the basis of a cybermetric network analysis we find that the videos are mostly isolated reactions to the film. Only 13 percent or fewer of the posters interacted with each other through comments, subscriptions or ‘friendship’. These interactions could be qualified as antagonistic or agonistic, but very rarely involved dialogue. We therefore conclude that YouTube enabled a multiplication of views rather than an exchange or dialogue between them.
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies