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Frischlich, Lena ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5039-5301 (2021): #Dark inspiration: Eudaimonic entertainment in extremist Instagram posts. In: New Media & Society, Vol. 23, No. 3: pp. 554-577

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Eudaimonic entertainment, which motivates a reflection on topics such as virtue or meaning, has many benefits, such as fostering wellbeing and inspiring prosocial behavior. Yet, it may also have a darker side when Islamic extremists use accordant elements in online propaganda. So far, this “dark inspiration” has attracted little scholarly interest. The current article fills this gap via a mixed-methods case study of an Islamic extremist influencer on Instagram. The study combined a qualitative content analysis of the account’s postings from 2016 to 2018 (n = 301 posts), with a hierarchical cluster analysis and digital data on aggregated user response to these posts. I found four types of post, ranging from calls for conservativism to calls for violent jihad. Different eudaimonic cues were used in all four types. Likes and comments varied as a function of type, with the violence promoting posts motivating the largest number of user responses.

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