Vinci Salvini! Boosting engagement in the 2019 European elections campaign in Italy




Twitter, Gamification, hybrid campaign, online participation, Matteo Salvini


Our study examines the 2019 European elections campaign in the Italian Twittersphere and the online activity of Matteo Salvini, former Italian Interior Minister and leader of the League. We consider the social media contest Vinci Salvini! (“Win Salvini!”) and we demonstrate how gamification, in the form of casual games, can affect participation and content visibility. The contest involved less committed citizens, offering an easy and interruptible mode of participation, crowdsourcing part of the campaign effort to them. Motivated by simple rewards, they spread the leader’s messages more and faster than other users, affecting in turn the algorithmic logic of the platforms. Therefore, we conclude that although online participation is very skewed, gamification can rebalance and widen it.

Author Biographies

Roberta Bracciale, Department of Political Science, University of Pisa

Associate Professor of Media Sociology at the University of Pisa (Italy), Department of Political Science, and director of the MediaLaB | Big Data in Social and Political Research Lab. Her current research interests focus on the social impact of digital media, with special attention to political communication and methodological perspectives applied to social media analysis

Francesco Grisolia, Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa

Postdoc research fellow at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy), and adjunct professor in Sociology of Communication at the University of Turin (Italy), Department of Humanities. His research interests broadly lie at the intersection of sociology of new media and political communication, with a specific interest for online misinformation and information disorders.

Antonio Martella, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento

Post-doc research fellow at the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Trento. His research interests focus on populism, leaders, and political communication on social media analysed through big data and statistical methodologies.

Maurizio Tesconi, Institute of Informatics and Telematics, CNR of Pisa

Researcher in computer science and leads the Cyber Intelligence Lab at the Institute of Informatics and Telematics of CNR (Pisa, Italy). His research interests include Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Web Mining, Social Network Analysis and Visual Analytics within the context of Open Source Intelligence.




How to Cite

Bracciale, R., Grisolia, F., Martella, A., & Tesconi, M. (2022). Vinci Salvini! Boosting engagement in the 2019 European elections campaign in Italy. First Monday, 27(6).