Digital Animal Advocacy: A Study on Facebook Communication Styles of Italian Animal Rights Organizations and their Followers’ Reactions


  • Nicola Righetti Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
  • Niccolò Bertuzzi COSMOS - Centre on Social Movement Studies

Parole chiave:

Animal Rights Movement, Digital Activism, Social Media, Correspondence Analysis


Despite online media having become an increasingly valuable tool for social movements to achieve their goals, the digital presence of animal advocacy organizations is still under-explored. This paper contributes to fill the gap by analyzing the social media communication of Italian animal advocates against the backdrop of a typology developed in the offline context that distinguishes political, anarchist, anti-political and mainstream animal advocacy. By using text and data mining techniques, the Facebook pages of eight Italian organizations representative of each type of advocacy were analyzed, based on over 7,000 posts and followers’ reactions. The findings complicated the offline typology by showing elements of continuity, discontinuity and hybridization between offline and online activism. They also shed light on the online communication of animal advocates and provided some initial insight into how online media can affect animal rights activism, thus providing a contribution to the emerging field of digital media and social movement studies.

Biografie autore

Nicola Righetti, Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo

Nicola Righetti, PhD, is a researcher at the Department of Communication of the University of Vienna, research associate at the Computational Communication Lab of the same University, and former research fellow at the Department of Communication Sciences, Humanities and International Studies of University of Urbino Carlo Bo. His research interests lie in the field of sociology of culture and communication, with a focus on digital sociology and digital methods, computational social science, data and text mining. Among his more recent publications: It Takes a Village to Manipulate the Media: Coordinated Link Sharing Behavior During 2018 and 2019 Italian elections. Information, Communication & Society, 2020 (with Fabio Giglietto, Luca Rossi e Giada Marino); Blurred Shots: Investigating the Information Crisis Around Vaccination in Italy. American Behavioral Scientist, 2020 (with Alessandro Lovari e Valentina Martino); Italian Men’s Rights Activism and the Online Backlash Against Feminism. Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, 2019 (with Manolo Farci).

Niccolò Bertuzzi, COSMOS - Centre on Social Movement Studies

Niccolò Bertuzzi is a researcher in political sociology. Currently member of COSMOS (Centre on Social Movement Studies), he was research fellow at Scuola Normale Superiore, professor of Sociology of consumerism at Lorenzo de Medici Institute, and he obtained his PhD in Applied Sociology and Methodology of Social Research at University Milano Bicocca. Among his research interests: political sociology, social movement studies, sociology of consumption, politcal ecology. Among his more recent publications: Political Generations and the Italian Environmental Movement(s): Between ecological democracy and democratic ecology. The challenges of the Italian environmental movement(s) within the European market democracy. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology (2020, forthcoming); Becoming hegemony. The case for the (Italian) animal rights movement and veganwashing operations. Journal of Consumer Culture (2020); The individualization of political activism. The case for Italian animal rights movement. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy (2020); Innovative Youth Activism and the Permanence of Collective Actors. American Behavioural Scientist (2019).




Come citare

Righetti, N., & Bertuzzi, N. (2020). Digital Animal Advocacy: A Study on Facebook Communication Styles of Italian Animal Rights Organizations and their Followers’ Reactions. Mediascapes Journal, (16), 128–150. Recuperato da



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