Online dynamics of the far-right and the far-left in Greece

According to the «echo chamber» hypothesis, political networks on the internet are fragmented and limiting. Online political communication basically preaches to the converted with little or no possibility to influence opinions, spread new ideas, or ensure a plurality of views. If this is the case, exposure on the web is constrained to reinforcement inside more or less ideologically homogenous communities, and to silence or polarization towards politically divergent networks. However, constant expansion in the use of social media platforms and fluidity in voter choices oblige us to re-examine the dynamics of political networks, particularly in contexts of extreme uncertainty and polarization. Moreover, the popularity of the echo-chamber claim has neglected important functions and dynamics of online political networks such as the relation between network structure and discourse.
This paper addresses these issues by examining the connectedness among political networks on Twitter. We explore dynamics inside and between the far right and the far left, as well as the relation between the structure of the network and political vocabulary. The 2015 Greek political context offers a unique opportunity to investigate political communication in times of political intensity. We explore interactions inside and between political networks on Twitter in the run up to the elections of three different ballots: the parliamentary election of 25 January, the bailout referendum of 5 July, the snap election of 20 September; we, then, compare political action during campaigns with that during routinized politics.