“DO YOUR RESEARCH”: COVID-19, POST-SOCIALIST EXPERIENCE AND THE NARRATIVE OF INFORMATION INDEPENDENCE AMONG CZECH INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS
Keywords:influencers, Instagram, post-socialism, COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemics highlighted the role of social media influencers as political communicators and drew attention to the question of accountability of influencers and their overall role in the media ecosystem. The aim of the paper is to analyze the role of lifestyle Instagram influencers in shaping the public narrative about COVID-19 as an orchestrated political event aimed at curbing civic freedom in the Czech Republic with focus on two key elements: 1) the politicization of the domestic (space) on Instagram and its gendered nature and 2) the framing of the role of influencers as democratic public voices offering an alternative to mainstream media, within the context of the post-socialist historical experience of totalitarian past. The presented analysis builds on digital ethnography among Czech female lifestyle influencers and content analysis of selected Czech influencers profiles.