Who’s Bad? Attitudes Toward Resettlers From the Post-Soviet South Versus Other Nations in the Russian Blogosphere
Communication in social media is increasingly being found to reproduce or even reinforce ethnic prejudice and hostility toward migrants. In Russia of the 2010s, with its world’s second largest immigrant population, polls have detected high levels of hostility of the Russian population toward migranty (migrants), a label attached to resettlers from Central Asia and the Caucasus. We tested the online hostility hypothesis by using the data of 363,000 posts from the Russian-language LiveJournal. We applied data mining, regression analysis, and selective interpretative reading to map bloggers’ attitudes toward migranty, among other ethnicities and nations. Our findings significantly alter the picture drawn from the polls: Migranty neither provoke the biggest amount of discussion nor experience the worst treatment in Russian blogs, in which Americans take the lead. Furthermore, Central Asians and North Caucasians are treated very differently.