D5.2 Country Report | March 2023 

Authors: Laura Horsmanheimo, Emilia Lounela, Roosa-Maria Kylli and Emilia Palonen – University of Helsinki

The DRad 5.2 country report studies the relationship between mediated hegemonic gender representations, violence, and extremism by analysing empirical evidence collected from social media through the lens of I-GAP (Injustice-Grievance-Alienation-Polarisation). The data consists of posts by three actors that are identified in this study as agents of radicalisation, three de-radicalisation actors, and three ordinary citizens who are addressing these topics publicly in social media. With the agents of radicalisation, the report aims to illustrate how extreme narratives revolving around misogyny, homophobia, sexism, and transphobia are expressed online using visual and communicative tools, how they disseminate their messages and how their audiences respond to them. Next, the report analyses how these hegemonic gender representations are countered by the de-radicalisation actors and how they aim to tackle alienation, othering, polarisation, and grievance. Finally, the report engages with “citizen communication” that addresses how influencers are addressing issues regarding hegemonic gender representations and radicalisation. The report draws on actors identified in the country report 3.1 on Finland (Horsmanheimo et al., 2021) and their social media content related to gender and misogyny. The selected agents of radicalisation did not engage with these topics directly or extensively. First, racism being the core theme of these agents, questions related to gender are not explicit, although their belief in traditional gender roles intertwines misogyny and transphobia. Furthermore, de-radicalisation actors in Finland consisting of third sector actors work in multiple fields, their social media include diverse content. Studying social media influencers, while addressing issues related to gender, especially women, rarely addresses gendered aspects of extremism. Our cases consist of a video by two far-right activists with connections to multiple organisations representing far-right ideologies, an article and a thread in the alternative and social media imageboard, on the one hand, social media posts by de-radicalisation actors on the other and further citizen communication in social media addressing the concern about violent radicalisation in diverse ways. The Finnish case bears evidence of the normalisation of hegemonic masculinity and how its employment in conjunction of the far-right argumentation also further normalises violently radical content.