This study seeks to quantify the polarisation of opinion that emerged around the Russian protest movement following the 5 December Duma elections, and shows that the language used by mainstream media to discuss the protesters was substantially more radical than had been the case with previous protests. Polarisation and Mobilisation indicators are used in an attempt to measure the tone of the debate. This constitutes a methodological contribution to the quantification of large datasets. The indicators are made publicly available online. The article attempts to quantify patterns in pronoun incidence to measure the tone of texts, and more specifically how events are mobilised through Othering – the practice whereby the self is given meaning and form in contrast to an Other – in identity-forming rhetoric. The findings suggest that in February 2012 pro-Kremlin media coverage of the protests converged in tone with blogosphere activity.
Language of contribution: English