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Fuelling the Subsidized Public: Mapping the Flow of Extractivist Content on Facebook

February 4, 2022

An article by CSSN scholars Robert Neubauer and Nick Graham explores the Facebook communications of Canadian oil and gas advocacy organizations, including industry-funded and nominally independent groups.

Read the article in the Canadian Journal of Communication

Background: This article explores the Facebook communications of Canadian oil and gas advocacy organizations, including industry-funded and nominally independent groups.

Analysis: These groups are analyzed as producers of “subsidized publics,” with elites providing supporters with resources that enable them to take political action on industry’s behalf. A social network analysis maps how they link supporters with information from diverse sources, constructing networked publics whose members can recirculate pro-industry talking points.

Conclusions and implications: These communications enact powerful forms of network-making power, programming an interconnected echo chamber that interfaces supporters with material from neoliberal extractivist discourse coalitions—networks of industry advocates that industry has itself helped cultivate over decades.

 

Photo credit: Shutterstock/ Camilo Concha