Pandemic strengthened far right in Europe, extremists most active on Facebook in Slovakia too

ĽSNS linked the pandemic to anti-migration sentiments.

Luboš Blaha of Smer (l) and Marian Kotleba of ĽSNS (r) came to talk to the protesters.Luboš Blaha of Smer (l) and Marian Kotleba of ĽSNS (r) came to talk to the protesters. (Source: TASR)

Slovakia’s Far-Right ĽSNS party commented on the pandemic the most on Facebook, right after the ruling OĽaNO party.

This is a conclusion of a study published on December 1, 2021, by Mercator Forum Migration und Demokratie (MIDEM) at the Technical University of Dresden.

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Scientists analysed the posts of right-wing populist parties on official Facebook pages in 12 countries, including Slovakia, the DPA agency reported. The section of the study dedicated to Slovakia compared the Facebook posts of six political groups which gained political power after elections in February 2020.

Specifically, the study reported the extent to which populist parties mobilised with the onset of Covid-19 and determined if the pandemic caused different problems to emerge, such as immigration, that the far-right could use for the mobilisation of voters.

All relevant political parties in Slovakia, according to the authors of the study, gave a lot of attention to the pandemic: the share of observed posts between March 1, 2020, and April 31, 2021, moved from about 17 percent (liberal SaS) to 31 percent (OĽaNO).

The Sme Rodina (We Are Family) movement, which the study classified as far-right, shared only 66 posts regarding different topics; however, 20 of those were related to the pandemic.

Sme Rodina's stances changed while in power

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