What is it about?

This research explores the involvement of minority political groups in Spain in disseminating disinformation through Twitter, analyzing 20,481 tweets (including retweets) and 2,730 disinformation instances flagged by two Spanish fact-checking organizations from August 2019 to March 2020. The study reveals that these political groups employ a strategy centered on confrontation and polarization, aiming to legitimize their political agendas among potential voters by focusing on emotionally charged and specific issues. This approach has resulted in a significant co-occurrence between the tweets of political actors and disinformation, suggesting that the digital presence of these groups fosters conditions conducive to the viral spread of misleading content, particularly when leveraging emotional messaging to mobilize potential voters. By examining the digital communication strategies of these groups, the research seeks to offer insights into the dynamics of political discourse on social media in Spain, especially within the context of a fragmented multiparty system that has emerged since 2015. [Some of the content on this page has been created by AI]

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Why is it important?

Understanding the role of minority political groups in spreading disinformation is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it highlights the impact of social media in shaping political narratives and the potential for misinformation to influence public opinion and democratic processes. Secondly, the study sheds light on the strategic use of digital platforms by political entities to advance their agendas, often at the expense of factual accuracy and the quality of public discourse. This exploration into the interaction between political polarization, digital communication, and disinformation is vital for developing strategies to combat misinformation, enhance the integrity of political debates, and protect democratic values. Furthermore, the findings underscore the importance of fact-checking initiatives and the need for continued vigilance in monitoring and addressing the dissemination of misleading information by political actors. KEY TAKEAWAY: Minority political groups in Spain play a notable role in the spread of disinformation on Twitter, leveraging emotional and confrontational messaging to engage potential voters.


The digital presence of these actors creates favourable conditions for the viral dissemination of disinformation, mainly when their content focuses on mobilizing potential voters through emotional messages. It could be helpful for fact-checkers to identify and understand the role of these actors in promoting this content.

Prof. Elias Said-Hung
Universidad Internacional de La Rioja

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Role of Minority Political Groups in the Dissemination of Disinformation. The Case of Spain, Journalism Practice, March 2024, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2024.2329183.
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