#Migrantcrisis: “tagging” the European migration crisis on Twitter

Ioanna Ferra, Dennis Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)



The purpose of this paper is to explore how the transnational discourse on the migrant crisis materialized on Twitter; it analyses how different stakeholders make use of online platforms to engage in the transnational digital public sphere in a crisis context.

The case study combines insights from research on transnational public discourses with web sphere theory for the methodological angle; it also applies social network and semantic analysis as empirical methods for data analysis. Twitter data related to #migrantcrisis and published on the 26 of February 2016 were collected, processed and visualised with NodeXL.

The social network and semantic analysis of 4,277 tweets identified the key actors/stakeholders who dominated the transnational web discourse and the main topics subsumed under the #migrantcrisis. The results suggest that the hierarchical structures that shaped the “offline” public sphere resonate in the digital public sphere. Simultaneously, strong links with general EU politics and other crisis events that caused turmoil in the transnational public sphere emerged as well.
Research limitations/implications

The paper provides an exploratory mapping of noticeable tendencies in a data set that is limited to the 26 of February 2016, which marked the closing of borders along the so-called “Balkan Route” to Europe.

This paper examines the usage of Twitter and the formation of the transnational web discourse by focusing the examination of a key date and event as regards to the unfolding of the migrant crisis in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-426
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Communication Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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