Brexit by Czech Social Media
In the period of time immediately preceding and following the British referendum on exiting the European Union, we analysed Czech social media and discussions. In two weeks, people wrote some 50,000 posts; if they were to vote, the results would be similar to those of the British referendum – the leave party would win by a narrow margin.The graph shows opinions from Czech online discussions on Brexit
However, discussion participants were almost unanimous in other questions. The European Union had an image of a bureaucratic institution struggling to deal with current problems.The graph describes the rating of the EU from the point of view of Czech discussants
There were almost no voices anticipating success of the referendum. Those opposing the Brexit believed in Britons’ common sense. Brexit advocates feared that elites would be able to preserve the country’s EU membership, either by intimidating voters or by manipulating results.
Economy was mentioned most often as the reason for leaving or staying in the EU, followed by the issues of migration and geopolitical strength of Great Britain as an independent country out of the EU.The graph depicts the most frequently mentioned reasons for leaving or staying of the UK in the EU
Before the referendum, discussion participants often linked the Brexit to a possible Czech exit from the EU. These debates quietened down once the result was announced, replaced by discussions on the separation of Scotland from the United Kingdom and falsehood of arguments used during the campaign.The graph shows share of posts mentioning individual politicians
Czech social media users focused on two politicians: Prime Minister David Cameron and member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage. Other British politicians were hardly ever mentioned; even prominent Brexiteer Boris Johnson was referred to as often as Adolf Hitler (who was only occasionally mentioned by people in various comparisons). Other politicians completely escaped attention of those participating in discussions.
The analysis was worked out using a randomly selected sample of 594 posts out of 49,779 which contained the keyword “Brexit” from 13 June to 26 June. We used the sample to analyse authors’ opinions on the EU, leaving the EU and the above-mentioned subject matters. All posts were used for analysing the representation of politicians’ names.
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