Kicking Refugees was Just the Beginning: The European Refugee Crisis, How the Open Society Foundation used qualitative social media research in defence of human rights

Daniel Fazekas, Balazs Denes


Open Society Foundation (OSF), a global human rights organisation and its founder, George Soros, are actively engaged in shaping NGOs', governmental and international organizations' answer to the European refugee crisis towards an outcome in line with the organisation's values. The case discussed in this paper was a research project conducted in Hungary during the height of the refuge crisis in August-September 2015.

Hungary's role in the European refugee crisis was pivotal, as the country was the entry point of over a one million refugees who arrived via the 'Balkan Route' into the European Union (EU).

In substance, this research illuminates the development of the online public discourse on refugees in Hungary before and during the height of the refugee crisis in 2015 - exploring the impact of a government sponsored anti-refugee campaign on the public discourse. The paper aims to prove that the employed qualitative methodology for open web analysis, delivers a grounded, real and actionable breed of insight.