French word of the day: Fachosphère

Today's French word of the day is 'Fachosphère'.
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
It's not an actual place, but nevertheless this realm might be affecting your life.

Why do I need to know fachosphère?

Because it describes a constant feature of modern life.

What does it mean?

Have you ever wondered how outlandish conspiracy theories are able to spread so quickly, or why a particular tweet will result in hundreds of racist messages?

It’s most likely because of the fachosphère. This French term designates far-right movements and political parties, but is most often used in relation to the websites, blogs and social media accounts which spread far-right messaging.

It’s composed of the word facho – a common French abbreviation for the word fasciste, although facho is widely used to criticise anybody on the far right. As the election campaign continues, you’re likely to hear facho slung about as a general insult from those on the left.

The suffix sphère (sphere) refers to a system as a whole, as in the term blogosphère which encompasses the world of blogs and bloggers.

So fachosphère refers to the entire constellation of far-right supporters, online and offline, and the way they feed each other.

Since it’s a network, it will often be used to describe the way a particular conspiracy theory gets picked up and manages to reach a wide audience.

The concept is likely to be particularly salient as we head into the 2022 French presidential election, in which far-right candidates are expected to play a major role. A recent investigation by Libération found that the 100 most popular websites in French which spread misinformation are visited 60 million times every month.

Use it like this

C’est la a TikTokeuse préférée de la fachosphère – She’s the far right’s favourite TikToker.

Une députée a été harcelée par la fachosphère après ses propos en faveur de l’immigration – An MP was harassed by far-right trolls after her comments in favour of immigration.

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