The Ukraine-Russia conflict in the media sphere: A semantic analysis of the titles and comments of the prepper movement in YouTube videos



The ‘prepper’ movement takes steps to survive adverse situations such as pandemics, general blackouts, economic collapse or climate change, among others. While its origins are linked to the Cold War, its popularity grew after the attacks on the twin towers on 11 September 2001. COVID-19 and the recent armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia are the latest threats to be added to the list of concerns. This research has studied the topics present in the videos published by the preparationist community on YouTube and has analysed whether the invasion of Ukraine has become part of the out-of-control events that concern this group. YouTube DataTools and Gephi were used to represent the network of connections created around the videos and to identify the nodes with the greatest authority and influence in terms of the propagation of information on preparationism. The findings indicate that the military confrontation between Ukraine and the country with the world’s largest nuclear weapons has become the preferred topic, displacing the other issues addressed in videos published before the conflict. With regard to those who lead the discourse on the platform, there is a presence of different ideological profiles. Some adhere to right-wing political content, related to white supremacy, weapons and various conspiracy theories. While others are of a less politicized and more playful nature.


prepper, semantic network, Social Network Analysis, survivalism, war in Ukraine, YouTube


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