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Article

When the Internet Fails to Connect: A Study on a Russian-American Non-Reflexive Discourse

This study investigates the outburst of anti-Americanism among Russian Internet users during the Russia-Georgia military crisis of 2008. The paper analyzes the discussions of Washington Post articles at the Washington Post Internet forum and the Foreign Media Russian Internet site. This study shows that, despite numerous attempts by Russian users to deliver their messages to the American readers, their postings were ignored by the American users and global dialogue did not occur. It is this exclusion from the conversation, together with the denigration of Russia by writers in the United States that led to the intensification of anti-American sentiments among the Russians. The study makes clear that for the establishment of effective global public spheres access to new communication technologies and knowledge of English are inadequate, unless accompanied by the willingness to listen to others and a desire to understand them.