European Public Sphere| Anti-Austerity in the Euro Crisis: Modeling Protest With Online-Mobile-Social Media Usage, Users, and Content
This study examined which factors were related to increased protest activity in European Union member countries from 2007 through 2012. Of particular interest to this study were growing unemployed youth populations and the widespread adoption of online, mobile, and social media, and where these factors converged in relation to off-line protest activities. Analyses indicated that certain forms of emerging media (most notably SMS activity levels) were, indeed, related to greater sociopolitical instability, and this effect was augmented where there were higher levels of youth unemployment rates. Separate data collection and algorithmic sorting of more than 3 million tweets from 2012 shed additional light on networked topics of discussion and users who were active in communicating online about the euro crisis and austerity. Altogether, results suggest that actual measures of usage, users, and content of emerging media contexts are important to the cultivation and sustainability of protest in pan-national social movements.