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Giglietto, Fabio and Lee, Yenn (2015) 'To be or not to be Charlie: Twitter hashtags as a discourse and counter-discourse in the aftermath of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting in France.' Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Making Sense of Microposts co-located with the 24th International World Wide Web Conference, 1395. pp. 33-37.

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Following a shooting attack by two self-proclaimed Islamist gunmen at the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on 7th January 2015, there emerged the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie on Twitter as an expression of condolences for the victims, solidarity, and support for the magazine’s right to free speech. Almost simultaneously, however, there was also #JeNeSuisPasCharlie explicitly countering the former, affirmative hashtag. In this paper, we analyse 74,047 tweets containing #JeNeSuisPasCharlie posted between 7th and 11th January. Our network analysis and semantic cluster analysis of those 74,047 tweets reveal that the hashtag in question constituted a form of resistance to the mainstream framing of the issue as freedom of expression being threatened by religious intolerance and violence. The resistance was manifested through three phases: sharing condolences but indicating a reservation against the mainstream frame (Grief); voicing out resistance against the frame (Resistance); and developing and deploying alternative frames such as hate speech, Eurocentrism, and Islamophobia (Alternatives). The hashtag in this context served as a vehicle through which users formed, enhanced, and declared their self-identity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Recipient of the best paper award (social sciences track) by GESIS
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Student and Registry Services
ISSN: 16130073
Copyright Statement: © 2015 held by author(s)/owner(s); copying permitted only for private and academic purposes. Published as part of the #Microposts2015 Workshop proceedings, available online as CEUR Vol-1395 (
Date Deposited: 19 May 2015 08:24

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