“I Am Not Racist, But ...”: Rhetorical Fallacies in Arguments about the Refugee Crisis on Czech Facebook

Tereza Krobová, Jan Zàpotocký


This paper examines the strategies of social media users commenting on the so-called refugee crisis. This qualitative analysis of the role of passion politics discourse on social media primarily employs the concept of rhetorical fallacies. It aims to stress the interdiscursive nature of immigration as a topic. It is connected with anti-liberalism, anti-feminism (or homophobia), and conservatism. For the purpose of this study, we used techniques for social-media monitoring to analyze social-media conversations related to migration on the Facebook page of Parlamentnílisty.cz news during the Czech parliamentary and presidential elections. This analysis showed that rhetorical fallacies were used in a relatively small amount of the studied material. Only 13% of all comments contained rhetorical fallacies, among which the most used was the ad hominem fallacy (55% of the total), "call for fear" (11%) and "false authority" (7%).

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Tereza Krobová
Jan Zàpotocký
(Primary Contact)
Author Biographies

Tereza Krobová, Pod Harfou 943/34, 19000 Praha, Czech Republic.

Tereza Krobová is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague. Her research focuses on issues related to gender and representation in the media, especially in video games. She works as administrator for the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) and as a programmer for Czech Television: the public service broadcaster in the Czech Republic. She teaches feminism, cultural studies and game studies at several Czech universities. Her work has been published in CyberpsychologyTransformative Works and Cultures and Replay. Currently, she is a member of the project “Dynamics and forms of citizen online participation in the Czech Republic in response to the European migration crisis.” She also works as a freelance journalist.

Jan Zàpotocký, Akademicka 3, 10800 Praha, Czech Republic

Jan Zápotocký is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University in Prague. His research focuses on new media and political communication. His research examines the affective turn in political communication in online environments and the creation of virtual communities around political actors. His work has been published in Social Media and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe (2017). Currently, he is a member of the project "Dynamics and forms of citizen online participation in the Czech Republic in response to the European migration crisis.” He is also an independent social media strategist.

Krobová, T., & Zàpotocký, J. (2022). “I Am Not Racist, But .”: Rhetorical Fallacies in Arguments about the Refugee Crisis on Czech Facebook. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 21(2), 58–69. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v21i2.14

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