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Politics, hackers and partisan networking. Misinformation, national utility and free election in the Catalan independence movement

Miguel Del-Fresno-García, Juan-Luis Manfredi-Sánchez


Misinformation, post-truth and fake news are the consequence of the complex interaction between technological disruption, collective interpersonal communication and sociopolitical action. We analyzed the impact of content produced by the hacktivist Julian Assange [1] and his WikiLeaks organization in support of the Catalan independence process in the last quarter of 2017. A total of 1,708,087 unique results were retrieved from multiple streams of Internet data, of which 99.85% is from Twitter with a 93% viralization rate. The 50 most viral tweets were analyzed qualitatively to identify the underlying misinformation patterns. The research findings show 1) the extent to which such misinformation favors the internal logic, coherence and survival of the independence worldview, whose main value lies in its national utility and 2) misinformation does not use the coercion of lies or falsehoods typical of totalitarian propaganda, but the freedom of citizens to voluntarily engage.

Palabras clave

Misinformation; Post-truth; Independence movement; Catalonia; Political worldview; Partisan networking; Assange; WikiLeaks.

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