Social media are one of the main arenas in which European citizens discuss policy issues such as migration and in which opinion formation on such issues takes place through the sharing and consumption of information and views. At the same time, it is an arena in which traditional and alternative media, NGOs, and politicians share their views on migration and interact with citizens to promote their agenda. For this reason, social media are a melting pot of different actors and interests, and a lens through which the European discourse on migration can be studied. Social media offer both, a huge potential for, on the one side, the free and democratic exchange and, on the other, for polarization and manipulation of the European discourse on migration.
The migration crisis proved to be not only one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes of the past decade in Europe but also one of the most salient media-covered events. Studying the media coverage of the crisis reveals some interesting general features and ‘national idiosyncrasies’.
By the means of AI-driven technology, PROTECT’s two teams from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and Lund University in Sweden will map actors and discourses present in traditional media and social media currently shaping the discourse on international protection on refugees.