‘Doomscrolling’ in my backyard: Corrosive online communities and contested wind development in rural Ohio

Joshua T. Fergen, Jeffrey B. Jacquet, Ritvik Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wind energy development in the rural U.S. remains locally contentious across geographies and social groups. These development decisions are often debated on social media sites, where individuals seek out information and share ideas related to risks and benefits of development. This research examines content from two anti-wind Facebook Community Pages (FCPs) focused on northwestern Ohio. We apply the corrosive community framework to categorize discourse around the framework's three major themes of health risk, recreancy, and litigation, and observe differences in numbers and types of social media activity before and after development and among local and non-local actors. We describe the role social media plays in mediating public discourse in local siting decisions and acts to situate online networks within physical places. We find the corrosive community framework a useful lens to analyze online-community conflicts around wind energy and categorize discourse around wind energy opposition. As public discourse moves increasingly to social media networks, understanding FCPs as a form of community can provide a framework for organizing and analyzing social conflicts and their local-nonlocal connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102224
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume80
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Community opposition
  • Corrosive community
  • Facebook
  • Online communities
  • Wind energy

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