Destinations Magazine

Extreme Tweeting

By Stizzard
Extreme tweeting

MOST politicians these days know how to compose a tweet and post a Facebook update; some are competentselfie-takers. Yet Europe’s mainstream lawmakers are badly losing the battle for online attention to politicians from the populist right and the far left.

On average, a Facebook message from UKIP, a Eurosceptic British political party, received around 4,000 “likes” this year—double that of the ruling Conservatives. France’s right-wing National Front beat the Socialist party by five to one on the same measure. MEPs in Europe of Nations and Freedom, an anti-EU group, have many more Twitter followers than their politically centrist peers (see chart). Each of their tweets is shared an average of 28 times, compared with six for mainstream politicians. The far left is as competent as the right. The swift rise of Spain’s Podemos and Italy’s Five Star Movement owes much to smart social-media campaigns.

Why are strongly left- and right-wing parties so popular on social networks? One reason is that they are prolific. In October Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, tweeted 626 times. Italy’s Northern League posted on…

The Economist: Europe

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