#solidarityisforwhitewomen: Exploring the Opportunities for Mobilizing Digital Counter Claims
by Malin Holm, Uppsala University, and Jorge Humberto Ojeda Castro, Uppsala University
This article shows how the inclusive design of social media platforms can facilitate the preservation of positions of privilege in public debates, where informal representation often takes place. Analyzing the most popular tweets under the Twitter hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen, we found that despite seemingly noble intentions, white feminists’ claim to “listen and learn” from the hashtag conversation directed attention away from black women’s suppression. Using Mouffe’s (2012) concept of agonism as a crucial component of the democratic character of good representation, our analysis suggests that the main contestation in the most visible hashtag conversation tended to happen through a consensus-seeking neutralization of the conflict rather than through an agonistic dialogue in which the other side’s claims were recognized and occupied space in the discussion. Twitter’s democratic potential, therefore, requires closer attention to good-representation practices, such as active self-limitation through good gatekeeping and the amplification of underrepresented voices.