Kald krig i kommentarfeltet? Historien om Frode Berg på russisk internett
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonNordisk Østforum. 2021, 35, 257-279. 10.23865/noros.v35.3379
The article explores how the Russo–Norwegian espionage debacle involving former border inspector Frode Berg was collectively and fragmentarily narrated by Russian online commenters. Through a digital ethnographic case study of user-driven segments on the Russian-language Internet (RuNet) – notably Live Journal and RT comment sections – this article shows how online narratives about the case involved participatory production by heterogeneous, polyphonous constellations of users. Analysing Russian online comments as network narratives, the article examines how Norway (as well as NATO and the West more broadly) has been construed on RuNet, where propaganda is ubiquitous, and where trolls, bots, vatniki and ‘everyone else’ continuously clash. Commenters’ discussions of the Berg case reflect Kremlin-controlled narratives of Norway as an ambiguous actor associated with a high degree of ambivalence, but network narratives also reveal tensions, inconsistencies and contestation of the Russian antagonist discourse on Norway. More broadly, the study highlights how interactive digital narrative can serve to expand our understanding not only of Russia’s relationship with Norway, but also of Russian informational activities as such.