How alt-right works Brexit tweets
The pro-Brexit Twitter community in the UK is receiving support from far-right Twitter accounts based outside of the country. Leave-centric users also utilise a number of ‘non-authoritative’ news sources to spread their messages, according to analysis conducted by F-Secure.
Researchers also found that the top two influencers in the pro-leave community received a disproportionate number of retweets, as compared to influencer patterns seen in the pro-remain community. In addition, some pro-leave accounts tweeted a mixture of Brexit and non-Brexit issues (specifically #giletsjaunes, and #MAGA).
From the users identified by the company as having retweeted more than 95% of the time, more than accounts from the leave-centric group were clearly US right-wing personas. These accounts associated with #Trump and #MAGA, amplified US political content, and interacted with US-based alt-right personalities in addition to amplifying Brexit-related content.
“The scope of this report* is too limited to conclusively determine whether or not there is a coordinated astroturfing campaign underway to manipulate the public or political climate surrounding Brexit,” says F-Secure. “However, it does provide a solid foundation for more investigation into the matter.”
*Researchers collected some 24m tweets that matched the word ‘brexit’ published by 1.65m users between 4 December 2018 and 13 February 2019.