The Populist Leaders‘ Affinity Towards Alternative Media on Facebook in Slovakia

Andrej Školkay, Igor Daniš

Abstract: This study explored the personal-ideological affiliation of selected populist leaders to alternative media based on their permanent “liking” on Facebook. It was found that the assumption that populist leaders “like” (both figuratively and literally) alternative media is incorrect. Boris Kollár, Speaker of the Parliament and one of the most active politicians on Facebook, did not use the button “like” at all, while Igor Matovič, then the Prime Minister of Slovakia, selected and “liked” some pages, but he preferred quality mainstream liberal news media. The electoral system’s specifics may help explain why populist politicians play a key role in their movements and why social media are so helpful for them in this process.