This study analyses the complex emotions and level of user engagement associated with mentions of Russia by Lithuanian socio-political influencers on publicly available Facebook posts between 2015 and 2020. Using the CrowdTangle API and a mixed methods approach to data, we examined four potentially sensitive periods – around elections, a political corruption scandal, and during the first COVID-19-related national lockdowns, annotated for emotion and topic content and analyzed with quantitative modeling of emotion data coupled with qualitative analysis of posts in order to contextualize results. Curiously, we found no heightened negativity expressed toward Russia around election time. We identified, however, considerable anger and contempt beneath the overall veneer of happiness in our sampled posts, with posts mentioning Russia generally containing more negative emotions.
Murauskaite, Egle E., Michael A. Johns, Susannah B. F. Paletz, and Nick B. Pandža. 2023. "How does it feel to talk about Russia? Emotions and themes in Russia-related social media posts in Lithuania." Journal of Baltic Studies, September. https://doi.org/10.1080/01629778.2023.2257172