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Comunicar Journal 47: Communication, Civil Society and Social Change (Vol. 24 - 2016)

Digital civic activism in Romania: Framing anti-Chevron online protest community «faces»


Camelia Cmeciu

Cristina Coman


This article presents the results of a quantitative analysis of two Romanian Facebook communities' self-presentations during the online and offline anti-fracking protests in Romania. In 2013 Romanians started to protest against the gas exploration of the US giant Chevron in the village of Punge?ti. The online and offline Punge?ti Resistance Movement turned within one month from a rural to a national mobilization tool meant to help the Romanian peasants affected by the proposed shale gas exploration operations of Chevron. Since the online engagement desired to finally turn into an offline participation is highly dependent on the informing practice, we consider that a framing analysis of the Facebook posts will reflect whether they are culturally compatible and relevant for the protesters. Using the framing theory in social movements as our theoretical background, we provided a comparative content analysis of two Romanian Facebook communities' postings (October, 2013 - February, 2014). We focused on identifying the verbal and visual framing devices and the main collective action frames used for the shaping of the online communities' collective identity. The findings revealed a dominance of «land struggle» as a collective action frame followed by «conflict» and «solidarity» and a salience of photos and video files used as framing devices of cultural relevance for Romanian protesters and of evidence of offline anti-fracking activism in Romania.


Online protest, framing, collective action frames, framing devices, land struggle, conflict, solidarity