Federico Pilati Guido Anselmi

From the «Rally ‘round the Flag» to the Emergence of a (Counter) «Digital Movement of Opinion». A Quali-quantitative Analysis of Twitter Debate on the COVID-19 «Lockdown» in Italy

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The outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020 prompted governments worldwide to implement a range of restrictive measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus. These measures, commonly referred to as «lockdown», involved the closure of non-essential businesses, restrictions on movement, and various physical distancing guidelines. Initially, there seemed to be a broad consensus regarding the necessity and efficacy of these measures in mitigating the impact of the epidemic. However, shortly after, the very same measures started to be criticized. This study delves into the quali-quantitative analysis of the Twitter debate surrounding the lockdown in Italy, seeking to understand the transition from the support of lockdown to a more contentious and polarized debate to a final hegemony of anti-lockdown’s positions. In doing so, we aim to examine the presence of political actors able to fuel and exploit the growing dissensus against COVID-19 restrictive measures.


  • COVID-19
  • Twitter
  • lockdown
  • Rally ’
  • round the Flag
  • Digital Movements of Opinion


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