“Fake Accounts, Real Activism: Political Faking and User-generated Satire as Activist Intervention.” New Media and Society, 2017.

Type: 
Article
Author(s): 
Elisabetta Ferrari

In this article, Ferrari explores user-generated political satire in Italy by focusing on fake political accounts. By fake accounts, Ferrari refers to humorous social media accounts that satirize a politician or a political organization through impersonation. She investigates political faking and user-generated satire as an activist intervention. Through in-depth interviews, she explores the motivations and the relationship with Italian politics of a sample of fake account creators. The results show that most of the satirists interviewed here consider satire as a form of activism and even those who do not, still recognize the subversive nature of satire. Furthermore, a majority of the interviewees have complex biographies of activism that predate the creation of the fake accounts. For a smaller number of them, the fake accounts have also provided new possibilities to engage in activism away-from-keyboard (AFK).