Religion on Twitter

Communalization in Event-Based Hashtag Discourses

  • Mirjam Aeschbach (Author)
  • Dorothea Lueddeckens (Author)


In this article, we examine the question of religious communalization on the micro-blogging service Twitter. Twitter has only relatively recently been adopted as a field of research by scholars of media and religion, and the question of religious community building on Twitter has yet to be addressed. Along with conceptualizations of Twitter as a social network and a social medium, we present specific approaches to community and the emergence of communal identity. Drawing on theories of community building online as well as offline, this study emphasizes mediated communication as central in the formation of community. Finally, through an analysis of postings under the hashtag #WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink, we outline how Twitter is used for event-based communication and emotional affiliation. In this way, Twitter is conceptualized as a digital space in which fleeting communities may emerge in the process of communicative event communalization.