Published in journal "Politics and Society", 2015-10 in rubric "Social studies and monitoring", pages 1385-1395.
Resume: The article discusses the role of the social media (social networks, blogs, forums, UGC-sites) in the process of the escalation of ethnic conflicts in the information sphere. The subject of research is the Russian-Ukrainian information conflict, an example that demonstrates the specificity of social media as a means of fomenting ethnic hatred and growing ethno-social tensions. The author thoroughly examines the dynamics of direct mutual insults by the representatives of Russian and Ukrainian people that appeared in the Russian segment of the Internet in the period from 01/09/2013 till the present time. The article focuses on the analysis of the most popular Internet memes that have arisen during this period. The study is built with the help of an electronic social media monitoring service IQBuzz that collects information from more than 10,000 Internet resources, such as Facebook, Twitter, VKontakte, My World, LiveJournal, LiveInternet, Google+ and others. The novelty of the research lies in the formulation of the research problem and the choice of the tools of its implementation. The main conclusion of the study is the cyclical nature and expressed antiphase of the increase of the activity of thematic discussions between the representatives of Russia and Ukraine, as well as their linking to the most important information occasions.
Keywords: Ethno-social tensions, Information War, IQBuzz, Ethnic conflict, Ukraine, Russia, Social media, Maidan, Memes, Internet
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